There’s one thing that’s extremely common among all my female friends, and that’s our never-ending love for the ex-Superman, Henry Cavill. His latest release, Argylle, hits theatres today. The movie is based on the worldwide best-selling novel of the same title by author Elly Conway, published in 2004 by Penguin. If you are planning to munch on some popcorn while watching this flick, just be ready for a high dose of silly punchlines as Argylle isn’t made for heavy cinephiles, and that’s completely okay because sometimes you want to take a break from intense movies and watch something light-hearted.
Argylle is helmed by the mastermind behind the Kingsman series, Matthew Vaughn. And as claimed by Vaughn himself, Argylle is an ode to the spy-action films from the 1980s, specially made for the audience that enjoys vintage espionage films. With the Kingsman series, he has already established a hit-making brand. It appears that he is attempting a second with Argylle, a crazy action comedy that flirts with ironic humour but never deviates to the point where it leaves viewers scratching their heads.
Coming to the plot, the first shot of the movie starts with the drop-dead gorgeous Agent Argylle (played by Henry Cavill) donning some sartorial Nehru jackets, meeting a femme fatale goddess LaGrange, (played by pop icon Dua Lipa), in a sexy club on a Greek island. Following a brief period of flirtation and a ridiculous dance routine, vehicles running over rooftops, a visible John Cena, and some random information about a master file that could reveal the schemes of an enigmatic crime organisation, the story then follows a writer called Elly (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) who is actually the one living out Agent Argylle’s James Bond-esque life.
She has penned a successful series of espionage books that have their own wide variety of goods, and later, she is shown working on her most recent book. As the plot thickens, the movie gets stuffed with more gunfights and tango routines, which are too goofy to not enjoy. Indeed, much of the film’s humour comes from seeing the unbreakable Argylle being juxtaposed with the very breakable Aidan (played by Sam Rockwell). While Argylle’s stunt-filled antics are suitably loaded with Vaughn’s signature action sequences, it’s also fuelled with numerous weird plot twists and reveals that a breezy action comedy can or should be forced to endure.
When Elly’s mother recommends that her new book needs one more chapter, I’ll admit that scriptwriter Jason Fuchs should have been given the opposite advice. Maybe next time (and this is clearly setting up a sequel), Elly and Aidan need fewer side missions. The storyline of Argylle is so convoluted that it would make an Indian daytime soap drama blush. Perhaps you’re thinking, how horrible yet humorous could it be? Well, it’s a spy film with entertaining performers and visually appealing diagonal lines. While I think it’s great that Bryce Dallas Howard is gliding across an oil spill on skates made of knives, you might be wondering how far such pointlessness will go.
Then the narration takes you to the South of France to meet Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be the one guy in Argylle who knows what is happening. However, he is essentially lying on his sofa while watching the Lakers game and sipping some red wine away from all the action. So, if you don’t want to break your head over watching something serious, go spend two and a half hours on mindless action and a stupendously silly storyline with an adorable cat.
P.S. Don’t miss the (marvellous) post-credit scene!