After making three Kingsman movies, Matthew Vaughn returns to the spy genre with Argylle.

This espionage comedy stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly Conway, the reclusive author behind the successful spy novel series starring the fictional secret agent Argylle (Henry Cavill).

She becomes involved in the spy world for real when her next book comes a little too close to the truth. She is approached by undercover agent Aidan (Sam Rockwell) on a train and asked to write another chapter of her novel to help him locate a top-secret file.

But he's not the only interested party - a sinister underground syndicate led by Ritter (Bryan Cranston) also wants it, so a cat-and-mouse chase between Aidan and Elly and Ritter's underlings ensues.

There are many twists and turns to Argylle and it's best going into it knowing as little as possible. Some of the twists are decent but there are simply too many of them and it is a confusing mess. The narrative is muddled, convoluted and hard to keep track of.

It doesn't help that it's not written well. All the twists are followed by big dumps of explanation to help everyone understand them and the dialogue is cheesy and generic, which makes sense in the imagined Cavill scenes but not in the real world.

Some of the reveals are interesting but the overall plot is flimsy and hollow - there is really not much to it and it's hard to care about it.

The action sequences are exactly the same style-wise as Kingsman, with some even feeling like discarded Kingsman ideas. The action is once again paired with incongruous songs, which worked in Kingsman but feel wrong here. Seeing a fight scene accompanied by Now and Then by the Beatles was baffling.

The action scenes are also ruined by shoddy VFX. It's glaringly obvious that a lot of the film was shot in front of a green screen in a studio rather than actual practical locations and it just looks so fake.

Vaughn has recruited a huge A-list cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Boutella, Catherine O'Hara, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose and John Cena - but they're all wasted and barely in it. A couple of these stars are on the screen for about five minutes!

However, Howard and Rockwell do well to hold it all together, despite the script issues, and Cranston is a lot of fun as the hammy villain.

Argylle is supposed to kick off a wider universe so this isn't the strongest start!

In cinemas from Thursday 1st February.