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Henry Cavill's meta-spy thriller Argylle was interesting ... until I saw that trailer

I finally figured out why the Argylle trailer killed my excitement for the movie

Scene with Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill in Argylle
Image credit: Apple Original Films

A good trailer can make an average movie seem amazing, but a bad trailer can ruin a great concept by simply showing off too much. The Argylle trailer is filled with some great action scenes, but something was missing – a sense of identity that makes this movie different from Matthew Vaughn’s previous work – and it has killed any interest I had in the film.

The trailer for Argylle does a lot of things right. It gives us a skillfully executed fight scene on a train, reminiscent of the iconic scene with Colin Firth from Kingsman: The Secret Service tearing through a church full of bigots with extreme prejudice. It sets up a potential conspiracy that drags a seemingly mild-mannered writer into the world of international espionage. It gives Henry Cavill, one of the most annoyingly handsome men on the planet, a ridiculously dumb but incredibly memorable haircut.

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All these things should make me excited to buy a ticket when the film lands in theaters in February, and yet I find myself oddly disappointed. My lack of enthusiasm for a movie that has such a wonderfully meta premise and a stellar cast caught me by surprise. It took me weeks to figure out why, to put my finger on exactly why I wasn’t buying into the hype. Finally, it hit me – there is a bizarre disconnect between the trailer and the rest of the marketing materials.

The posters are wonderfully stylized and bring Cavill’s Argylle to the forefront. Each one feels like an homage to campy, wildly unrealistic spy films in the same way that Knives Out and Glass Onion were celebrations of the best murder mysteries. There was a sense of style to them that promised to give us a fresh take on a classic genre of films, something we know Vaughn can do thanks to his work on the Kingsman franchise. The posters were cool and colorful – one glance and I knew I wanted to see this movie.

The trailer feels like it's from a totally different movie. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to Kingsman. The camera work and playful dialogue are all hallmarks of Vaughn’s previous films. It is all good, but I was craving the style and sense of genre we saw in the poster. I don’t mind the obviously CGI cat flying through the air. I can forgive the Argylle trailer for spoon-feeding me the premise of the film because I get the sense that it is still holding at least one or two twists back. The thing I simply can’t forgive is for the trailer to be so incredibly bland.

I hope I am wrong about Argylle. I hope that this is just a frustratingly safe trailer, and we end up with a film that delivers on the promise of the posters, but right now I can’t be sure. That uncertainty makes me wonder what movie I’m going to walk into, something that has killed any interest I had for it long before the opening credits rolled. The strange disconnect between the poster and the trailer is poisoning my enthusiasm for Argylle and I don’t think anything is going to rescue it.

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