“MANNERS MAKETH MAN…”
Note: The following review is SPOILER FREE!
Kingsman: The Secret Service is the next comic book adaptation directed and produced by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) based on the limited series originally created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Millar, who you might know from comics titles such as Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl and Wanted, is no stranger to having his work show up in Hollywood. Kingsman is yet another piece from his ever expanding bibliography plucked and refashioned for the silver screen, creating what seems to be hit after hit.
At this point, one of, if not my biggest complaints about the film thus far is how it is being marketed by the media as some kind of Spy Kids clone. In reality, Kingsman is much more than just a younger looking group given gadgets to save the world. What’s great about it is that you get to watch imperfect characters from reluctance wanting to succeed. And although there are no “superpowers” so to speak, it takes your everyday superhero, strips them of their powers, spandex and silly cape, and instead places them in well-tailored suit with a full arsenal of gadgets to go kick ass with.
Perhaps the biggest thing that Kingsman benefits from is an absolute all-star cast, with veterans like Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson leading the way. Of the list, Firth is without a doubt the most spry of them all; he’s smart, dresses to the nines and simply steals the show. Without giving too much away, the fight scene involving Firth is on par with the Crazy 88 scene in the cult classic Kill Bill. In that same note, Jackson also exceeds in his role as the film’s antagonist. For a spy film, he’s perfectly evil, preternatural and has a sidekick played by Sofia Boutella who would split you in two.
As great as the aforementioned band of A-listers comes off on the screen, it’s Welsh newcomer Taron Egerton who really steals the show from the moment he appears on screen. As he flees from the cops while sounds of the classic song “Bonkers” by Dizzee Rascal play in the background, he’s eventually stopped and arrested. The catalyst is set when Harry Hart (Firth), one of the highest regarded members of the service, comes and frees Eggsy (Egerton). The teenager who has fallen from grace eventually gets offered the opportunity to enter training and become the next member of the highly trained spy team.
At this point the film truly takes off. Here we see the characters develop, hijinx of sorts ensue and plots start to unfold as he is pitted up against candidates who are much more posh and look down on him. As the story goes on, Richmond Valentine (Jackson) begins to enact his plan to help save the world from itself, no matter who it affects. This sets up the rest of the movie as the spies investigate and have multiple run-ins with him and his henchman.
Kingsman in every way is an excellent homage to classic spy movies (something that is even addressed within the context of the film) and then some. With that added flare, it seemingly makes a movie that could easily be mistaken to be the love child of Quentin Tarantino and Ian Fleming. The film is every bit a spy movie, but also has an extreme, yet tasteful amount of violence, matched with plenty of laughs and some surprise cameos that fans of the original comic book will be more than happy to see.
With Kingsman, Matthew Vaughn and co. have given a breath of fresh air not only to the current market of comic book movies, but also to the dwindling spy genre. Benefiting from an excellent cast, with a mix of stars and newcomers in addition to a great fx team, Kingsman is a ton of fun with a great story to match.
Have you guys been spying in on the “Kingsman” trailers? What are your thoughts on them so far? Let me know on Twitter @TarynGStark or in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
85/100 – Great
This review of Kingsman: The Secret Service was made possible by an advanced screening provided by Uber.
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