The never-ending, over-the-top spy flick

By Brontë H. Lacsamana, Reporter

Movie ReviewArgylleDirected by Matthew Vaughn

IF Kingsman was already a handful for you as far as action spy movies carefully built up to climax in wildly violent twists and turns go, then wait until you get a load of Argylle.

It starts off with the titular Agent Argylle, played by the handsome Henry Cavill in what seems like a hilariously purposefully bad haircut, in the middle of a high-stakes mission. Then, we pull back to follow cat lady Elly Conway, the novelist behind the fabricated work of spy fiction.

Played by a delightfully wide-eyed Bryce Dallas Howard, the reclusive author sets out to solve her writer’s block but somehow ends up smack in the middle of a real-life espionage conspiracy, now a character in her very own spy tale.

For those who know director Matthew Vaughn’s previous work, like Kingsman (which was truly an awesome spectacle of a movie), then Argylle is that but on steroids. It is engorged with twice the number of preposterous twists, campy scenarios, and CGI action scenes that it ends up feeling like a cartoonish parody of itself.

That said, if you roll with the punches, you’ll probably have lots of fun in the cinema.

Sam Rockwell as Aiden, the atypical image of a spy, is a joy to behold, as he and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Elly evade killers and dance around each other crossing varying levels of trust. But the more the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one blurs, the more one-note the rest of the cast becomes.

One twist after another ham up the cheesiness and double the curveballs, so much so that the visual effects suffer under the weight of all the outlandish things that take place. Bryan Cranston and Catherine O’Hara have dynamic, engaging parts to play, while the characters of John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ariana DeBose pop in here and there for quick zingers. Henry Cavill as Argylle, a cleverly placed role that’s edited in quite nicely within the narrative, is serviceable despite the atrocious haircut.

Given the impressive action sequences, complicated set pieces, and star power of the cast, the eye-popping spectacle of it all is worth it to anyone seeking exactly that. Otherwise, just skip this one.

Argylle crosses the line from epic fight scenes to comical, over-the-top, violent scenarios in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t hold back, and it expects you to be fully on board.