• 17 Feb - 23 Feb, 2024
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Argylle is a comical spy thriller filled with action. Elly Conway is a reclusive young woman who lives with a cat that she carries in her backpack. The backpack has a plastic window, however, so the cat can look out. Elly writes a series of popular spy novels featuring a superspy named Argylle. A rogue spy agency targets Elly when her latest novel seems to contain information about them, their assets, and what they’re doing and planning. A scruffy-looking spy named Aidan seems to have her back. Or, does he?
The movie opens with an imaginary scene from the latest spy novel being written by Elly Conway, a reclusive woman with a pet cat named Alfie. After his cover is blown, Elly’s spy hero, an agent named Argylle, chases a blonde spy who has a key to unlock the files of an evil spy organisation. He and his partner, Wyatt, capture her and get the key, but she commits suicide. The novel ends with Argylle headed for London to get the files.
Elly’s mother, Ruth, who’s encouraged her daughter’s writing career from the beginning, thinks the ending is too anti-climactic. She promises to come visit her on the West Coast and help her fix the ending. However, Elly decides instead to get on a train to go to her mother.
On the train, a bearded hippie-type guy recognises her and says he’s a fan. He introduces himself as Aidan Wilde and notices Elly has stuck her cat into a backpack with a little plastic window so he can look out. Another young man recognises Elly too and starts to approach her with a pen to autograph his book. However, Aidan blocks the man’s arm, and Elly notices that the pen is dripping with some kind of poison or knockout liquid. Aidan and the man start to fight, and it looks like Aidan has been highly trained in martial arts. No sooner has Aidan knocked out the autograph seeker that more men in the train car try to kill him. A wild commotion follows, with Elly imagining Aidan transforming into her spy hero, Argylle; a larger, taller man who talks directly to her while he dispatches the bad guys.
Elly is scared to follow Aidan, however, as he fights multiple bad guys through the train cars, but he drags her with him. They eventually escape the train full of thugs by Aidan grabbing Elly and dragging her through an exit door and pulling a parachute. Aidan takes Elly to an isolated cabin. He tells her he’s a spy fighting a rogue government spy agency called the Division. He says the Division is targeting her because they’ve noticed that her novels seem to contain a lot of actual information about them, their assets and what they’re planning. Aidan suggests they travel to London to visit the computer hacker who was supposed to have hacked into the Division’s computers and stolen some important files that would expose its nefarious schemes, just like Argylle did in Elly’s latest novel.
The second half of the movie is filled with many surprising twists and turns and more amazing action scenes with lots of fighting. Argylle is funny. Also, the plot twists are a lot of fun, and the action sequences are clever, exciting and visually striking. Although it’s not always clear what the bad guys are trying to accomplish, overall the movie has a strong moral worldview. Aidan, for instance, really cares about Elly’s wellbeing, despite some momentary questions about his loyalty. That said, the violence in Argylle has a high body county.