Argylle Director Matthew Vaughn Reacts to Movie’s Terrible Reviews

Argylle Director Matthew Vaughn Reacts to Movie’s Terrible Reviews

Matthew Vaughn, the director behind the new $200 million action-thriller “Argylle,” has found himself in the eye of a storm following the film’s release. The movie, which stars a high-profile cast including Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, John Cena, and Bryce Dallas Howard, has been met with scathing reviews, leaving Vaughn to grapple with the fallout.

Walking out of an early screening of “Argylle,” many viewers were left with a rare emotion: boiling, white-hot anger. The film has been described as one of the worst movies ever seen, not even falling into the “so bad it’s good” category like “Cats” or “The Room.” Instead, it has been labeled a $200 million disaster, with critics suggesting that the actors involved, including Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, and Samuel L. Jackson, might be questioning their career choices.

The movie kicks off with a scene reminiscent of Vaughn’s “Kingsman” series. Agent Argylle, played by Cavill, finds himself in a room full of armed adversaries, only to escape and engage in a high-speed chase with a double agent, portrayed by Dua Lipa. This sequence, filled with over-the-top antics, is arguably the film’s highlight. However, the twist that follows—revealing the scene as a reading at a book event by spy novelist Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard)—sets the tone for the convoluted plot that ensues.

Elly, an anxiety-ridden recluse with writer’s block, finds herself on a train ride to visit her mother (Catherine O’Hara). She encounters Aidan (Sam Rockwell), who claims to be a real spy and a fan of her books. The plot thickens when every passenger on the train attempts to kill her, leading to a series of disorienting action sequences where Elly hallucinates Aidan and Agent Argylle as the same person.

The film’s narrative becomes increasingly tangled with numerous twists, each more implausible than the last. Vaughn and screenwriter Jason Fuchs attempt to balance winking at action-thriller tropes without descending into full parody, but the result is a confusing mess. By the 30-minute mark, audiences are likely to lose interest in the double-crosses, red herrings, and secret identities.

Among the cast, Sam Rockwell’s performance suffers the most. His character oscillates between a mellow stoner and a grumpy taskmaster, a doofy klutz and a lethal spy, with no clear direction. His chemistry with Howard’s Elly is non-existent, leaving viewers hoping for a plot twist that separates them.

The film’s action scenes, one of Vaughn’s few redeeming qualities as a director, are technically impressive but fail to salvage the overall experience. By the time the final set piece arrives, audiences are likely too exhausted to care.

Fans of pop stars Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift should be warned: Lipa’s screen time is minimal, and despite online rumors, Swift does not make a cameo. The film’s marketing, which included the publication of an actual “Agent Argylle” novel, has only added to the confusion and disappointment.

Vaughn’s reputation, once bolstered by films like “Layer Cake” and “Stardust,” has taken a hit with “Argylle.” The film’s failure may signal the end of his bright pop action era, suggesting a need for a return to more intimate, considered projects.

Despite the backlash, some viewers may still find enjoyment in “Argylle.” However, for many, the film represents a low point in Vaughn’s career, a cautionary tale of excess and misdirection in filmmaking.