Matthew Vaughn Says Critics Were ‘Vitriolic’ Over ‘Argylle’ and the Bad Reviews ‘Took Me By Surprise’: ‘We Didn’t Make “Citizen Kane,” but F—ing Hell’

Matthew Vaughn recently opened up to Empire magazine about enduring some of the worst reviews of his career with “Argylle,” the $200 million star-studded spy comedy that flopped in theaters this year with $96 million worldwide. The film, backed by Apple and released theatrically by Universal, intended to start a franchise and starred Bryce Dallas Howard as a reclusive spy novelist thrust into a real world of espionage. Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cena and more co-starred.

“Fuck yeah,” Vaughn responded when asked if the extremely negative “Argylle” reviews were disappointing to read. The movie has a 33% Rotten Tomatoes score from 292 reviews.

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“We had done test screenings that had gone fantastically well,” Vaughn said. “The premiere was a really fun night, and it was like going back to the ‘Snatch’ days where there was such excitement. And I started drinking the Kool-Aid. It’s a fun, feel-good movie, or I thought it was a fun, feel-good movie. 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.”

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

Vaughn, who experienced great success with his “Kingsman” movies, intended to launch another movie franchise with “Argylle,” but the bad box office and even worse reviews have seemingly put a lid on such plans. The movie is now streaming on Apple TV+, where Vaughn says it’s having a bit more success.

“We’re doing very well on streaming,” Vaughn told Empire. “People are liking it. Nothing would make me happier than making another one. I’m getting texts saying, ‘Wow, those reviews were fucking harsh!’ The more we can get people to watch ‘Argylle,’ the more chance we make another one. I’d love to make another one, we’ve got it planned.”

Apple has not yet announced any official plans for another “Argylle” movie. The film opened to $18 million at the domestic box office over its debut weekend and quickly fizzled out from there. Variety called it “convoluted” in its negative review and added that it’s “a badly written spy comedy.”

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