Matthew Vaughn’s much-anticipated blockbuster, “Argylle,” intended to launch a major spy film series, is facing severe criticism from film critics, with one reviewer labeling it among the “worst movies ever made.” Despite boasting a star-studded cast featuring Bryce Dallas Howard, Dua Lipa, Henry Cavill, and Samuel L. Jackson, the film, with an astonishing $200 million budget backed by Apple Original Films, has garnered universally negative reviews.
The storyline, adapted from a recently published novel of the same name, revolves around Elly Conway, an introverted spy novelist portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard. Conway finds herself entangled in the world of real-life espionage when the plots of her novels uncomfortably align with the activities of a sinister underground syndicate.
Critics have not held back in expressing their disappointment. Katie Walsh from Tribune News Service labeled “Argylle” as ‘one of the most expensive worst movies ever made.’ The film currently holds a dismal 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Barry Hertz of Globe and Mail criticized it as ‘one of the most chaotically stupid action movies to torture audiences in ages.’ Nick Schager of The Daily Beast pointed out its heavy-handed comic touch and lackluster action scenes, questioning how many movie stars could be wasted in a single production.
Matt Singer from ScreenCrush humorously commented on the talented cast being ‘trapped in an endless story with a fake cat.’ David Fear from Rolling Stone kept his review concise, deeming “Argylle” a ‘very, very bad movie.’
Leslie Felperin of the Hollywood Reporter likened the film to an expensive commercial for a product one wouldn’t want to buy, describing it as feeling like ‘one of those very expensive, very elaborate commercials for a pseudo-luxury product you don’t want to buy.’
Carla Hay from Culture Mix was equally critical, branding “Argylle” an ‘incoherent, bloated mess’ filled with ‘stupid plot twists, awful dialogue, and a gimmicky cat that looks fake for most of the movie.’ Hay emphasized that Henry Cavill, despite being part of the cast, does not take the lead, with the movie mostly revolving around Sam Rockwell acting smug and Bryce Dallas Howard portraying terror.
As the film faces scathing reviews and a disappointing reception, its release on February 2nd is anticipated to be a critical moment for “Argylle” and its potential impact on the envisioned spy film series.