Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2014
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a British spy action thriller about a group of spies who work very much undercover in an independent international intelligence agency, Kingsman. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) finds himself involved and soon becomes recruited to join the initial process by Harry Hart/Galahad (Colin Firth, The King’s Speech), who was very close with Eggsy’s father, himself a member of the Kingsman, who died saving Harry’s life when Eggsy was just a baby. Their mission is to prevent a plot from Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson, The Hitman’s Bodyguard), a billionaire, as he plans to prevent global warming by having the population murder themselves to deplete its numbers by offering a free mobile phone sim card which, when activated, induces rage.
Recently I watched a British action film (Stratton, the current lowest-awarded rating of all my reviews) and was a bit weary coming into this film (having missed it when it was initially in the cinemas), and added to that the idea of seeing Colin Firth (an actor I do like) as a somewhat lead in an action film wasn’t overly reassuring, but both of those fears were washed away pretty sharpishly. Colin Firth is brilliant (as he usually is) and comes across as a genuine action star. And Taron Egerton was the perfect choice to be the plucky young common Londoner awarded the trials; his attitude as a conventional chav is the perfect opposite for the posh talkers who also are in training, and his, let’s say select, choice of words (which usually revolve around profanities) add that extra layer of comedy to this film.
Yes it’s an action film, but it’s hilarious. Right from the beginning where the exploding debris from a building turns into the sponsors’ names to the end where Eggsy saves the world more because he’s on a promise with a princess than anything else. The writing, the characters, the situations, they all work together and blend perfectly with action and comedy. And there’s a scene towards the end with a lot of deaths, I won’t spoil it but it had me in stitches laughing.
With regards to the action, it’s very well done. Yes there’s silly moments like in all where so many people are shooting at the hero that it becomes laughable that he’s not dead (even with a bulletproof suit), but everyone plays their acting roles brilliantly, and, as a result, it looks fantastic. There’s even a woman whose legs have been amputated and replaced with metal, with a knife, and she uses her feet to slice and kill. This adds a whole new style of fighting beyond the usual fists on fists, and it looks fantastic.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a fully enjoyable action film, with the gadgets of James Bond with the charm of a commoner wielding them. Hilarious, explosive, brilliant.
Plot: * * * *
Acting: * * * *
Writing: * * * *
Presentation: * * * * *
Overall Rating: * * * * ¼