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We didn’t make Citizen Kane, but fucking hell


Argylle director Matthew Vaughn has spoken out against the criticism the film has received, saying: “We didn’t make Citizen Kane, but fucking hell.”

The spy action comedy, which was released in February, starred Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Dua Lipa, John Cena and Samuel L. Jackson.

Set in the same universe as the Kingsman films, which Vaughn also directed, the plot of the film revolves around a reclusive author (Dallas Howard) who realises that the spy novel she is writing is mirroring events in the real world.

The film was met by less than glowing reviews, currently sitting at a score of 33 per cent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. In a new interview with Empire, Vaughn addressed what he described as the “vitriolic” responses to the film.

“It’s a fun, feel-good movie, or I thought it was a fun, feel-good movie,” he said. “We didn’t make Citizen Kane, but fucking hell. Then the reviews came out and I’m like, ‘Wait, what have I done to offend these people?’ They were vitriolic. I’m not saying the movie’s perfect by any means, but I didn’t think it was offensive. That took me by surprise.”

He added: “I even went round to cinemas because I thought, ‘Maybe I’ve lost the plot now.’ It did rattle me. I’m genuinely scratching my head about that, because you can’t ignore it. It wasn’t like [just] a few bad reviews.”

In a more generous three-star review of the film, NME‘s Nick Levine wrote that its “ingenious screenplay by Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) features more twists and turns than the Monaco Grand Prix” but said that it is “hampered by strange pacing and a bloated 139-minute runtime”.

“Because it takes too long to become truly gripping, it ends up overstaying its welcome during the last few big reveals,” Levine added.

The film, which was released by Universal Pictures alongside Apple Original Films, struggled at the box office, where it drew a global total of $96.1million (£75.1million) against a $200million (£156million) budget.

Some Taylor Swift fans speculated before the film’s release that the singer was the inspiration for the book and film, or that she had even written the book under the pen-name of Elly Conway. Swift is known to like to wear argyle sweaters and she loves Scottish Fold cats, which feature prominently in the film. This theory was later dismissed by Vaughn.





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