Feb 13, 2024

A Bad Trailer Can Kill A Good Movie

Universal Pictures (2024)
This is a movie that I never would have cared about enough to see it on the big screen if not for our Regal Unlimited subscription.  When we waked into the theater yesterday, I expected this movie to be absolute crap.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's a fun action comedy with good performances all around, but the trailer really didn't do this picture any favors.

There's a pretty good chance that you've seen the trailer for Argylle before.  It has been included in the ads for various streaming services, and it was played before nearly every movie that I've watched at the Regal this year.  I thought that it seemed mildly amusing the first time that we saw it, but it made my eyes roll nearly every time after that.  The dialogue between Bryce Dallas Howard and Catherine O'Hara in this trailer sounds like it was lifted from a failed 90's sitcom, the action scenes look about as cheesy and cookie-cutter as you can get, and for as much as I love Samuel L. Jackson, his line of "It's time for you to meet the real Agent Argylle" may have been the corniest thing I've ever seen in the theatrical trailer of a big budget film.  Then there's the CGI cat, which had me picturing a room full of aging studio executives insisting that this movie have a cat because they saw their grandkids watching cat videos on their phones.  Also, no offense intended to the director, but adding "from the twisted mind of Matthew Vaughn" to the trailer is not the selling point that they think it is.  I barely knew who he was even after looking him up on Wikipedia, and I go to a hell of a lot of movies.

Argylle premiered across the United States on February 2nd.  It has bombed at the box office so far, and I think they have their marketing team and whoever cut together this trailer to blame for that.  Pushing even a good trailer as hard as they pushed this tends to make me sick of a movie before I even see it, but when you overplay a trailer makes a film look as lame as this, you're almost asking the public to ignore your movie.  If not for the fact that it didn't cost us anything extra to see it, the convenient start time for my work schedule, and the fact that we wanted to go see a movie before the big snowfall hit on Monday night, I wouldn't have bothered.

My only complaint about the movie itself is that they really overdid it with the scenes where Elly was watching Aidan fight someone, only to have Aidan turn into her Argylle character, then cut back to Elly to shake her head in disbelief.  I feel like they did that schtick at least a dozen times during the train scene.  I get it... she thinks she's seeing Argylle... can we please stop now.

Other than that, the movie was a hell of a lot of fun, and not at all the dumpster fire that the trailer make it seem like it was going to be.  I'm told that they planned for this to be a series, and I hope that those plans continue despite the movie not being the success that they hoped it would be... but for the love of god, please hire a different marketing team.