“Cat ladies always die alone and cats figure it out.”
The spy action comedy “Argylle” arrives in theaters this month with an all-star cast but mixed critical reviews. The film comes from director Matthew Vaughn, known for stylized spy franchises like “Kingsman.” It also represents Apple TV+’s most ambitious foray into major theatrical releases to date.
“Argylle” stars Henry Cavill as the titular super spy, alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara and others. The convoluted plot involves uncovering a global conspiracy which is the cinematic equivalent of a snake eating another snake that is eating a USB stick.
But the major talking point is a surprise twist ending that just does some stuff to Vaughn’s cinematice universes. Vaughn has hinted at ambitions to build a spy movie universe for years. The “Argylle” twist formally bridges a bunch of his prior work.
But box office has been soft for recent Vaughn spy installments, raising questions about appetite for an interconnected spy world. "Argylle” is underperforming right now.
The film’s source novel also has an unusual backstory. Vaughn originally wanted to adapt “I Am Pilgrim,” but couldn’t secure rights. So he enlisted that book’s author Terry Hayes along with Tammy Cohen to pen an “Argylle” novel as if it were written by Bryce Dallas Howard’s character. That doesn’t make the story of the movie any easier.