Argylle Movie Review - The Cat Is Out of the Bag

We haven’t had a thrilling spy movie in a while, and Argylle is here to challenge that. The latest action flick follows Elly (Bryce Dallas Howard), a novelist who writes about secret agents, only to find herself being whisked away by Aiden (Sam Rockwell) and thrown into a real-life espionage story. Rockwell and Dallas Howard are joined by a star-studded cast, including Henry Cavill, Bryan Cranston, Dua Lipa, Samuel L. Jackson, and an adorable cat named Chip (who plays Alfie). We know that director Matthew Vaughn can make a good spy movie, but does this one match the fun of the Kingsman movies? Let’s dig into our official Argylle movie review!

The Good

It’s hard to start talking about this movie without mentioning the cast. Sam Rockwell can turn anything into a fun time, and his character Aidan uses his typical goofy charm throughout Argylle to draw in viewers. Bryce Dallas Howard’s Elly Conway, the star of the show, perfectly balances the fun. Co-stars also shine, and you can tell that Bryan Cranston and Catherine O’Hara are having a great time. Samuel L. Jackson also crushes it in his limited screen time, but it doesn’t take a spy to guess that one.

Another great part of the film is its soundtrack. The music is the type that makes you want to dance, and it’s especially used well in the film’s action scenes. Though the action in the latter half gets a bit too campy for my liking, the first collection of fights is well-choreographed and thrilling to watch.

My favorite features of this film may be quite controversial. Without spoiling anything, Argylle comes with a few surprises. These twists and turns, typical of any spy movie, are mostly well done and unpredictable (at least at first.) However, a few couples walked out of the showing that I was in at precisely these moments, so I’m guessing that not everybody will love them.

Image via Universal Pictures.

The Bad

Unfortunately, for all of its good parts, Argylle has a bad one to balance it out. It has a hefty runtime of 139 minutes, and it’s felt in the film’s second half. It quickly becomes a movie where you could have imagined five scenes being the climax, and it gets exhausting after a while. One particular scene involving gasoline and makeshift skates is particularly groan-worthy.

The marketing certainly doesn’t disguise that it will be a cheesy movie. It features a cat in a backpack, after all! Most of it is endearing, but it does sometimes toe the line between being fun and being too much.

But the worst element of it all is Alfie, the feline star. The cat is significantly underused throughout the film, and there are points where I questioned if he was needed at all. Most scenes with the cat are also clearly CGI, even in scenes where he’s just sitting there. Even my cat would have done better. Sorry, Chip!

Argylle picture
My cat, Elio, is wondering why he didn’t get a call to audition for the role of Alfie. He thinks he would have done a great job.

The Massive Budget Makes This Argylle Review Question Things

The film comes with a big budget of $200 million. That’s a lot for a new story. We know the money didn’t go toward the cat’s CGI, so we’re guessing it went to the flashy explosions and the actors’ big price tags. Most of the spending was worth it, though, because those two elements were some of the film’s best aspects. We just hope that it’s enough to warrant a sequel, which seems promised based on the film’s ending.

It is hard not to compare it to Vaughn’s Kingsman films. Argylle might take the cake over the sequels, but The Secret Service still wins the top prize. If I had to pick a reason why, it would have to be because of the stakes of the action in Argylle. While most spy flicks feel like the world will end if our agents lose, Argylle‘s drama feels like empty threats. The villains are good at their jobs, but are they worth getting too scared over? I don’t think so.

Image via Universal Pictures.

Overall, Our Argylle Review Thinks It’s Fun Enough

Argylle is a fun movie. You’ll bop your head to the music, chuckle at just enough of the jokes, and be surprised by a scene or two. It’s worth it for a fun night out with some friends who don’t take their movies too seriously. This won’t be winning any awards, but it may win a smile. And sometimes, that’s enough.

Oh - and don’t forget to stay for an exciting post-credits scene!

Do you agree with our review of Argylle? Let us know your thoughts on the film in the comments!

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  • Acting - 10/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 5/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 4/10
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About Meghan

Film & Television & Fanfiction Writer | Mental Health Worker | Cat Mom