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Director Matthew Vaughn and cast talk about the spectacular stunts on “Argylle”, now showing in cinemas

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WHETHER it is a single-shot assault sequence in Kick-Ass or that iconic pub scene in Kingsman: The Secret Service, the action sequences in Matthew Vaughn’s films are consistently audacious, astounding and unlike anything seen on screen before. 

With Argylle, the director exceeds all his earlier achievements, with an elevated, balletic violence that marries music and mayhem, hilarity and high style. 

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvcVJ4Al1zU 

In Argylle, Bryce Dallas Howard is Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books – which center on secret agent Argylle (Henry Cavill) and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate – begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past.

Accompanied by Aidan (Sam Rockwell), a cat-allergic spy, Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur. The cast includes John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Samuel L. Jackson, Ariana DeBose and Dua Lipa.

Amtrack Train Fight 

In this scene, Aidan meets Elly Conway on a train and alerts her that she is being hunted by agents from The Division. She does not believe him, until she and Aidan come under attack. As Aidan fights them off, Elly begins to hallucinate that her fictional spy hero, Argylle, is fighting the battle instead of Aidan. The scene flashes between the real world and Elly’s imaginary one.

The sequence required meticulous planning and fight choreography, and it is critical to establishing the state of Elly’s mind as her two worlds collide for the first time. To achieve this, Rockwell and Cavill learned matching choreography, while the stunt team endured physical hits and executed somersaults.

“For me, action is about plot and story and character, and there’s more to it than just people smacking the crap out of each other,” Vaughn says. “I find straight fights boring. If I am not seeing action done in a new way, or I do not understand the stakes, I’m not interested.” Adds Howard, “It is really precise, because Henry and Sam need to do all the same movements at the same pace.”

Rockwell was dazzled by the skill of the stunt team. “I had done a little boxing, and a little dancing, but they were very patient with me,” Rockwell says. “I worked really hard on the train fight, but when we got to set, and you watch these people move, it is on another level.

It is a distinctive style; it’s very heightened and beautiful to look at. There’s a very Jackie Chan vibe to it.” Stunt coordinator Bradley James Allan had begun designing the stunt sequences for Argylle when he died from illness in August 2021. He was a member of Jackie Chan’s stunt team.  

Bakunin Apartment Safe House Fight

This scene features a single continuous shot through the apartment’s corridors, with special effects for wall explosions, and Rockwell and Cavill propelled backward via a wire in the exact same body position so that the perfect blink transition could be achieved.

Murder Ballet Sequence

This sequence blended romantic dance movements with tactical combat, seamlessly choreographed in-sync with music. “I said to Brad Allan, ‘I want to do a love dance where they’re using smoke and the smoke becomes hearts, and Brad said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I get it,’” Vaughn says. “And he goes off and comes back with it. We were an unbelievable yin and yang. I could have these crazy action ideas and he would never even blink.”

Oil-Skating Sequence

Brad Allan crafted instantly legendary action scenes for Argylle, including a lethal oil-skating scene. The team’s innovative approach synchronized the graceful dance-like action with the illusion of gliding on oil. Vaughn and his team achieved this by actually pouring loads of oil onto the floor. During these sequences, the stunt team faced challenges maneuvering on the oil-covered surface. The scene required skilled ice skaters who could safely navigate the oil-slicked floor.

Catch all the spectacular action on Argylle, now showing in cinemas. An Apple Original Films presentation, in association with MARV, a Cloudy production, Argylle is distributed by Universal Pictures. #ArgylleMoviePH

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