'What Have I Done to Offend These People?': Argylle Director Reacts to Negative Reviews

Matthew Vaughn is responding to critics of one of the year's worst-reviewed movies

Published Time: 04.06.2024 - 21:31:14 Modified Time: 04.06.2024 - 21:31:14

Matthew Vaughn is responding to critics of one of the year's worst-reviewed movies.

Vaughn, the filmmaker behind the Februrary action-spy movie Argylle, recently sat down with Empire magazine to discuss the movie's struggles upon its release in theaters.

“We didn’t make Citizen Kane, but f------ hell, then the reviews came out and I’m like, ‘Wait, what have I done to offend these people?’ They were vitriolic," Vaughn, 53, said. "I’m not saying the movie’s perfect by any means, but I didn’t think it was offensive. That took me by surprise."

Argylle stars Bryce Dallas Howard as a successful spy novelist named Elly Conway who is pulled into the real world of espionage by Sam Rockwell's character Aidan, a spy who tells her that other organizations are searching for her because her novels appear to predict the future.

The movie was promoted as featuring a major plot twist: while Henry Cavill appears in the film as the fictional character Argylle, the movie instead reveals that Elly is a spy named Rachel Kyle suffering from amnesia who unknowingly wrote of her own experiences in her novels.

The movie opened to only $17.4 million at the domestic box office in February and grossed $96 million worldwide during its theatrical run. Review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes show overwhelmingly negative scores from critics, though 72 percent of audience members who rated the movie on the platform indicated they enjoyed Argylle.

“My guard came down on Argylle. We had done test screenings that ha -

d gone fantastically well," Vaughn said elsewhere in the interview. "The premiere was a really fun night, and it was like going back to the Snatch days where there was such excitement. And I started drinking the Kool-Aid."

“It’s a fun, feel-good movie, or I thought it was a fun, feel-good movie," he added.

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Vaughn, who is responsible for successful action movies like Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the Kingsman series, shared with Empire that he understands the movie has performed well since it began streaming on Apple TV+.

The director also said he would jump to make a follow-up Argylle movie if given the chance. The movie's release coincided with the release of an official Argylle book attributed to an author writing under the pseudonym Elly Conway, while the movie itself teased that the Argylle character was a member of the Kingsman spy organization from the Kingsman movies.

"People are liking it. Nothing would make me happier than making another one. I’m getting texts saying, ‘Wow, those reviews were f------ harsh!’ " Vaughn told the outlet. "The more we can get people to watch Argylle, the more chance we make another one. I’d love to make another one, we’ve got it planned.”

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