20th CENTURY FOX (2014)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella

Kingsman: The Secret Service begins with a bang (a few bangs actually), carries on with some more bangs and, well, never stops.

Filled with action and intensity throughout, Kingsman grabs you immediately and doesn’t let you go – from the solo rescue carnage in Argentina, the high speed car chase, the pub fights and the insane church battle, there is some impressive action going on, and also, some fun action. A woman with prosthetic legs which double as swords? Barmy, but fun. Spies with impressive gadgets? Sounds familiar, but yes, it works. Thamuel L. Jackthon (sorry Sam!) lisping his way through, dressed twenty years too young with a madcap idea? Great to watch.

Colin Firth displays all the qualities of an English gent, and a cold assassin also, using great facial expressions to forebode what his opponents fate will be. Firth obviously pulls off the sophisticated, sober aspects of the role, paired with some great lines and humourous moments – that’s his thing. His portrayal of a stony killer is great and his charisma matches the attitude perfectly – watching him take apart waves of people was great to watch. Firth can now kick arse.

Newcomer Taron Egerton is excellent as Eggsy, channelling his inner chav perfectly, and realistically also. His arc, whilst maybe predictable and conventional, was brought to life well by Egerton and he looked at ease during the action moments. He was just as much at home playing the suited gentleman, bringing charm and charisma to match the attitude – and also bought some great comedic timing.

The supporting cast were great also – Mark Strong as the loyal and heroic Merlin, Sofia Boutella was menacing as the sword legged killer, Mark Hamill had a fun cameo (a nice nod when Firth asked him for info on the anthropogenic Force). Michael Caine turned up to set and played Michael Caine.

 

Was the movie a bit long? Probably yes, but for the vast majority it was warranted. There are sections which seems to plod along and take a while to reach a conclusion, though these are quickly banished by the frenetic action that inevitably follows.

The movie is filled with impressive and fun action – there is a big body count throughout – and some nice twists to keep things fresh and entertaining. Kingsman: The Secret Service is a great send-up on the spy scene, and breathes some life back into it, as with most genres, the spy scene seem to be heading towards a darker and grittier place. A thrilling action/adventure/comedy movie, I found myself entertained throughout, and I can’t ask for more than that.

 

Now, can the planned sequel top this for fun, action and entertainment…?

September 7th 2016

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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