Director Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller, argyle, shrouded in mystery since it was announced. At first, it looked like a spy movie starring Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa. It turns out that this is not the case.
Instead, the film follows writer Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) in a strange hybrid The Lost City and Stranger than fiction he meets James Bond, through a series of wild hikes with a spy named Aiden (Sam Rockwell).
when Argyll it was first announced that it was revealed to be based on a book by an author named Elly Conway. This trailer makes it clear that this was only half the truth, and that Conway is a fictional writer and star of the film, with Agent Argylle (Caville) a fiction within a fiction.
It’s a smart idea! I’ve already mentioned several of the cast members, but this only scratches the surface of the all-star cast. Also starring Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Ariana DeBose, Bryan Cranston, Sofia Boutella and Samuel L. Jackson.
As for Vaughn, I have enjoyed many of his films, incl Kingsman and Kick Ass.
But man, the actual trailer just looks terrible. Check it out:
I don’t mind the CGI cat, as silly as it is. It’s just about everything else about the movie: It looks like it was made straight for streaming in all the worst ways. Generic cinematography that feels overly polished and completely uninteresting. Action scenes without experience or vigor. A twisty spy thriller that feels authentic and predictable. This is exactly the kind of movie you make to appease the algorithm, which is hardly shocking given that it’s an Apple TV+ movie.
I started watching this trailer with a smile but it didn’t last. Are they really hunting this woman down so she can write another chapter in her book that apparently predicts the future? Is this the plot?
For all its wonderful cast, Argyll it feels utterly, unrelentingly bland. A muddled, forgotten film that tries too hard to be modern and ironic at every turn, doing its best to appeal to the widest possible audience while bringing in all the big celebrities to attract viewers (and Apple TV+ subscribers).
I could be wrong – I’m basing this on a trailer, obviously – but I’m going to make a prediction that this exhibition as well as Vaughn’s latest film, The King’s Man, which currently scores 40% on Rotten Tomatoes despite its talented cast. I say this with no small regret. I love a good spy thriller! I love Sam Rockwell! I want this to be a great movie, but like Caville’s bad haircut in the trailer above, some things are better left unseen.
Argyll comes to theaters and Apple TV+ in February.
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