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Argylle review: Is the spy comedy worth watching?

argylle review
Is Argylle worth watching?Peter Mountain - Apple

A star-studded spy comedy, Argylle, is coming to cinemas featuring Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, Samuel L. Jackson and more. But, aside from the famous cast, is it worth watching?

The film follows Elly Conway, author of best-selling spy books whose stories begin to mirror real life, unexpectedly throwing her – and her cat – into a world of espionage, secrecy and danger.

Argylle is coming to Apple TV+ and cinemas on 2nd February, but before you put on your best argyle print sweater to go see it, here's our review.

What is Argylle about?

The film follows Elly Conway, the author of best-selling spy novels about a secret agent named Argylle who is on a mission to unravel a corrupt global spy programme.

Only, um, things take a bit of a chaotic turn when she realises the secretive actions of a real-life spy organisation are following the plot of her books, which throws her into danger without warning.

bryce dallas howard and sam rockwell in argylle, directed by matthew vaughn
Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures

Who is the cast of Argylle?

I mean, who isn't in the cast of Argylle? There are so many famous famous starring in the new film, including:

  • Henry Cavill

  • Bryce Dallas Howard

  • Sam Rockwell

  • Bryan Cranston

  • Catherine O'Hara

  • Dua Lipa

  • Ariana DeBose

  • John Cena

  • Samuel L. Jackson

  • Sofia Boutella

samuel l jackson in argylle, directed by matthew vaughn
Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures

Is Argylle worth watching?

Argylle is a funny, feel-good, action-packed film that's hard not to enjoy. You arrive for Dua Lipa, but stay for the comedy, plot twists and slightly ridiculous yet amusing storyline that refuses to take itself too seriously.

The cast is probably one of the main reasons you want to watch the film, and I'm here to say that they don't disappoint. We meet Dua's character, LeGrange, pretty quickly and her acting skills as the Bond Girl-esque operative are impressive. So, yes, Dua is a good actor!

Then, we've got Henry Cavill as agent Argylle alongside John Cena, who both give entertaining show and, of course, Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly, who delivers a relatable and hilarious performance while throwing viewers a few curveballs. Her cat, Alfie? I'm obsessed, even if he is predominantly CGI.

bryce dallas howard is elly conway in argylle, directed by matthew vaughn
Universal Pictures

Other supporting actors, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Bryan Cranston and Catherine O'Hara also give great performances and bring humour, shocks and tension to the twisting storyline that is set to keep you on the edge of your seat, which is where we were firmly sat throughout the film.

As we follow Elly and Aidan across cities and countries to evade capture, the storyline gets progressively more ridiculous. But, we're not mad at it. From far-fetched brainwashing attempts to elaborate dance scenes in the middle of a shoot-out, we managed to be both slightly confused but equally entertained at the sheer audacity of it all.

All that said, we do have one grip with the espionage movie, largely down to the hazy scene set in the loosely-defined Arabian Peninsula (that's like setting a film in Western Europe, BTW. Are we talking about Paris or Birmingham?) complete with snake charmer music, lazy, Orientalist tropes about Middle Eastern people and unexplored, surface-level references to religion. Come on Hollywood, you should know better.

Aside from that, Argylle is an entertaining, funny watch with an impressive, ensemble cast that elevates the wild storyline. Did it need to be almost two and a half hours long? Probably not. Will we be watching a sequel? Most definitely.

Argylle is in cinemas and Apple TV+ from 2nd February.

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