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Argylle eschews Matthew Vaughn's rated-R successes for "softer" PG-13 rating, but for good reason

We're ready for the perfect date night movie.

Henry Cavill in Argylle
Image credit: Apple Original Films

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Matthew Vaughn’s love of over-the-top violence and action has seen most of his films earn an obvious R rating. Whether it’s the profanity-laced world of Kick-Ass or the celebration of exploding heads in The Kingsmen, the director has excelled at making films for adult audiences. For his next spy-thriller, Argylle, Vaughn is going for the more date-friendly tone by opting for a PG-13 rating.

Argylle has its origins in the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, according to an interview with the director in Collider. “The reason the movie came about is because I was watching, during lockdown, we were watching movies as a family, and I would persuade my girls to watch films they normally wouldn’t.” Those family movie nights inspired him to do a “softer film” with a PG-13 rating. He wanted to create the perfect escapism film to help us forget the chaotic world we’ve found ourselves in.

Vaughn specifically cites Romancing the Stone as his template for that escapism feel. The Michael Douglas-led classic was the director’s first “successful” date, which helped cement the need for Argylle to have a PG-13 rating. “I thought I wanted to do a film about escapism, which would be a great date movie at the same time, and do a film that my girls would enjoy, because, you know, they didn’t really like Kingsman.”

While PG-13 films aren’t what the filmmaker is known for, he can do great work in the rating. Stardust (which also happened to feature a very young Henry Cavill) might not have been a box office success but it has gone on to gain cult status, so Vaughn can certainly make great films without relying on shock value. We’ll have to wait until Argylle’s February release date to see if he succeeds in his goal of making the perfect date night movie or if our confusion over the trailer is well-founded.

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

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Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon


Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)