Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 02/02/2024
Production Company: Universal Pictures

Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard,
Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O'Hara, Samuel L. Jackson, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose and John Cena.

Director: Matthew Vaughn. Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, Jason Fuchs, Toby Hefferman, Iain MacKenzie, and David Reid. Executive Producers: Adam Fishbach, Zygi Kamasa, Carlos Peres and Claudia Schiffer. Screenwriter: Jason Fuchs. Cinematographer: George Richmond.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Some movie trailers can be downright deceiving. When I first saw the preview for "Argylle" it struck me as a fresh, bold and exciting spy action comedy. For the first half hour or so it actually is. Then it goes all over the place and off the rails rather quickly which is a bit surprising since hipster director Matthew Vaughn ("The King's Man" and "Kick-Ass") is at the helm. Plus, "Argylle" has a terrific cast and a scene stealing Scottish Fold cat to boot.

Yet, screenwriter Jason Fuchs (TV's "Mythic Quest") throws every twist and spy cliche you can think of, into this convoluted story which feels even longer than its 139 minutes run time.

"Argylle" stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly Conway, a best-selling author of spy novels. The main character in her books is a charismatic secret agent name Argylle (Henry Cavill, "Black Adam" and TV's "The "Witcher"). His partner in crime is Wyatt (John Cena, TV's "WWE Smackdown!"). There's also a tech guru named Keira (a funny Ariana DeBose, "Wish") and the mysterious and seductive LaGrange (Dua Lipa, "Barbie").

Elly is set to release her fifth book from her series. It has garnered lots of interest from her fans who turn out for her book readings and signings. At first blush, Elly appears outgoing, but actually she prefers being out of the spotlight and staying home curling up with Alfie, her pretty kitty.

Elly's mother Ruth (Catherine O'Hara, "Elemental") often gives her good advice on writing. So, Elly decides to take a train and meet with her mom to discuss her ideas. Just as Elly is ready to enjoy some down time on the train, she's interrupted by a disheveled bearded guy named Aidan (Sam Rockwell, "See How They Run"). Aidan is actually a real spy with an agenda.

He tells Elly that what she's been writing about in her books is about to become reality. That's because her writing is so amazing and believable that it has caught the attention of the leader of a rogue, global spy syndicate (Bryan Cranston, "Asteroid City"). He wants to eliminate her. Now, Elly isn't just writing her espionage story, but she has become a major player in it as well which turns her life upside down and takes her to unexpected places. She winds up meeting strange people like the Pinot Noir loving Alfred Solomon (Samuel L. Jackson, TV's "What If..."?) who has an agenda and a nice cozy hideaway in the French countryside.

For Elly, the lines between reality and fiction are suddenly blurred. They may be too for viewers trying to keep up with this storyline that spins out of control and tosses in unnecessary gimmicks that fail to generate much excitement.

"Argylle" should have been big, dumb fun. Instead, it's a big, missed opportunity.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "ARGYLLE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"