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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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“Argylle” (Movie Review)

Universal Pictures
An author, played by Bryce Dallas, writers about spies and the movie takes shape as her books mirrors real life events.

If the director of “Human Centipede,” the writer of “Sharknado” and the cinematographer of the 1969 moon landing all collaborated on a weekend-long mission to create the unequivocal worst movie of all time, I would still watch that before I would rewatch “Argylle.” In all honesty, I would probably choose to stare at a wall of beige paint drying over another viewing of “Argylle” because the beige paint, at the very least, is inoffensive to the eyes.

When I say that this movie is surprising, I mean that in the same sense that I would call the crash of the Hindenburg surprising. For some reason, I thought this was going to be a fun film even if the premise was openly a tad stupid. That expectation was shattered pretty early on.

Though it had some modest potential in the beginning, the back half of the movie was truly unwatchable. It featured a murderous dance sequence that was both tonally and narratively jarring, but this issue of inconsistent tonality was not an isolated incident. It permeated every fiber of this poorly threaded movie.

Believe it or not, I actually like director Matthew Vaughn quite a bit. “Kingsman” was undeniably fun and well made. In fact, many viewers and critics have ranked it among the best spy thrillers of the last several decades. Vaughn’s preceding “Kick Ass” franchise proved to be an almost equal achievement, though it may be worthwhile to make the point that both franchises suffered a sizable quality drop as their sequels released. That said, I held Vaughn in relatively high esteem before “Argylle.”

It seems to me that in recent years, the sensibilities of Vaughn appear to be morphing from “sleek, clever espionage thrillers” to “bad spy fan fiction written by a thirteen-year-old girl.” The drop in quality is dramatic. Apparently, if you stuck around until the very end of the movie to watch the post credit scene, there was a haphazard attempt to tie in this film to the world of “Kingsman.” I’ve chosen to ignore this as I do not wish to sully the grandeur of that film with the failures of “Argylle.”

“But what about Henry Caville?” you may be asking yourself at this point.

Despite his wealth of presence in the somewhat confusing trailers for the movie, I would venture to say that Caville’s actual role in the story could not be more unnecessary. In fact, were it not for that formidable jawline, his entire performance would be deletable from the final product. It really wouldn’t change that much. Naturally, having limited screen time and basically no narrative imperative, not even Caville could lift this movie up out of the muck.

When I say that this is the worst movie I’ve ever had to sit through, I worry that it will be taken as hyperbole. Note: it is not. This film is nothing more than a clunky compilation of tired cliches, banal dialogue, lazy storytelling, and, frankly, poor performances.

There are some noteworthy twists and turns, but if they aren’t extremely predictable, then they are revealed so poorly and anticlimactically that they have essentially no emotional impact. The whole thing was more chaotic than it was whimsical.

I’m still struggling with who to blame for this experience: the writer? The director? The actors who brought this piece of garbage to life? Ultimately, it’s probably a varied and colorful combination of all three with a few studio heads thrown in the mix for the crime of green lighting the project in the first place.

At the end of the day, this was an already dumb idea, compounded by truly reprehensible execution. The cat in the backpack was cute, but even he couldn’t save the experience.


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Gabi Merchen
Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer
Gabi is a fifth-year transfer student from the University of Oklahoma (OU), now Gabi is looking to obtain her bachelor's degree in communication at USAO. She is from Yukon. She loves writing and has been contributing to local and scholastic publications since 2015. Gabi also participates in two choral groups on campus. When she isn't in class, Gabi likes to spend her time crafting, crocheting, and rewatching the same three sitcoms over and over again.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Jan. 2023 - Apr. 2023