Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Lindsay Duncan
'Kingsman: The Secret Service' does to comic book movies what 'Kick Ass' did to, well, comic book movies. It kicks ample amount of ass.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, who is responsible for some of the freshest, most entertaining modern action films like 'Layer Cake', 'X Men First Class' and the aforementioned 'Kick Ass', 'Kingsman' delivers by the truckloads. The film is a proto-parody of the Bond films, but is also kind of similar to the 'X Men' film that Vaughn directed.
'Kingsman: The Secret Service' poster. Pic/Santa Banta
Kingsman is based on Mark Millar’s comic of the same name, and is as bloody good as the source material. The plot introduces us to a mysterious society of spies in underground London, that operates without the knowledge of the CIA or the FBI or even the Queen. The spies are called the Kingsmen, and they are highly trained, deadly as hell and fully aware the bureaucracy of government establishments, so they operate independently and covertly. They have frightfully British names — like Merlin, Galahad and Lancelot and they are the most suave and stylish gentlemen to have graced the planet. One of the agents (Colin Firth) botches a mission that leads to the death of his comrade. Years later, he tries to make amends by training his comrade’s son Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to become a Kingsman.
Here’s where the film diverges from the usual glut of spy parodies — we never really invest much of our time into Eggsy’s backstory or ascension in the academy. We straightaway plunge into Eggsy’s training, and the threat posed by the supervillain Richmond Valentine, played to corny perfection by a lisping Samuel L Jackson. The film then zips zooms through the plot, fully aware that this is first and foremost an action movie. So it renders brutal — and hilarious — violence filmed with zesty long takes and oodles of blood.
In most films, the supervillain is evil for the sake of being evil, but in this one he is likable and his master plan is kind of grounded in reality. His motivation is weirdly acceptable. Those who have read Dan Brown’s 'Inferno' will probably raise an eyebrow because it is similar to what the bad guy in that book does. It doesn’t matter though, because we still get a supervillain sidekick in the form of an incredibly gorgeous woman with knives for feet, who lobs people’s heads off with a ballet dance. The camaraderie between Firth and Egerton is a blast, as are the fight sequences in the nifty bulletproof umbrella with a machine gun handle. The wildest gadgets that a spy agency could have are all present in the film, and director Vaughn knows just how to use them.
Egerton’s dialogue is reminiscent of the banter from 'Attack the Block', and his transformation from the ghetto kid to a suave British spy gentleman in a suit is a ton of fun. The film is ridiculous, funny and a wild ride, and it’s really hard not to be swept away by its infectious energy.