Early reviews for Argylle have started rolling in, and they appear to largely be panning director Matthew Vaughn’s movie.
The action-thriller, based on the recently released novel of the same name – which some online theorists firmly believe was written by Taylor Swift – boasts an A-list cast of Dua Lipa, Henry Cavill, John Cena, Bryan Cranston and Catherine O’Hara.
Its plot follows the chaos that ensues after the events in a best-selling author’s espionage novel begin to mirror a real-life spy operation.
While The Independent’s chief film critic Clarisse Loughrey was gentler in her three-star review, calling it a “silly spy romp” and “pleasingly, surprisingly charming”, several other critics were quite brutal.
“ARGYLLE is not only dreadful, its use of the Beatles’ ‘Now and Then’ nearly forced me to walk out of the theatre,” Roger Ebert’s Robert Daniels tweeted.
“Argylle Has a Big Secret: It’s a Stunningly Bad Movie,” reads the headline of David Fear’s review for Rolling Stone.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw described the movie as an “unbearably self-satisfied smirk of a spy caper”. “This could theoretically be a fun movie, but it is all so self-conscious and self-admiring, with key action sequences rendered null and void by being played on two levels, the imaginary and the real, so cancelling each other out,” Bradshaw added.
These reviews for ARGYLLE looking brutal. Tough scene.
— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) January 31, 2024
Nicholas Barber of the BBC called it “shoddy and derivative Bond pastiche”, writing that “it’s a painful collection of silly clichés and unconvincing visual effects, but the twist is that it’s supposed to be like that”.
“Argylle is recycling ideas and imagery from better movies. It's a loony adventure that lacks the grace necessary to match its stars,” IGN’s Jesse Hassenger wrote.
“Flashy, fun and light on its feet, Argylle papers over its cracks with twist upon twist,” Ben Travis declared in his three-star review for Empire.
At the time of writing, the film sits at 39 per cent on popular review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Argylle will be released in cinemas on 2 February.