Kingsman: The Secret Service is Action-Packed Fun
“Manners maketh the man.” Wise words and also the motto of Lancelot aka Harry Hart, the suave British Kingsmen agent played by the inimitable Colin Firth. In Kingsman: The Secret Service, these words surface again and again as Hart takes it upon himself to mentor his late comrade’s son, nicknamed Eggsy (newcomer Taron Egerton). Eggsy is a young, impulsive delinquent whose lack of structure and support in his home life have obviously taken a toll on his professional and moral choices thus far. That is, until he meets Hart and is taken deep underground to the headquarters and training grounds of the Kingsmen: an British secret spy agency.
He is put to the test among fellow young Kinsgmen contenders, facing trial after trial that judge whether he has what it takes to be a first-rate spy. Meanwhile, the Kingsmen are currently investigating the abductions of public figures from around the globe, and it soon becomes apparent that the eccentric, lisping tech billionaire, Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is involved.
The story arc is one we’ve seen before: underdog kid is miraculously chosen to become a great hero in a subculture institution (“you’re a wizard, Harry!”). But it’s the way it’s mixed with other genres that makes it compelling and entertaining. It’s first and foremost director Matthew Vaughn’s love letter to spy movies, but it’s also shaken (not stirred) with dark comedy and the aforementioned underdog uprising. This play of themes, much like what he did with his cult favourite, Kickass, make it rise above those played out archetypes to become something truly unique.
The characters are another great virtue of this movie. Firth fits his genteel spy role like a well-tailored suit, while the bratty Eggsy grows on you as he becomes the man you want him to be. The villain, Valentine, is also a role we love to hate, as he flips back and forth from evil genius to goofy nerd. His right-hand tough, Gazelle (played by Algerian dancer Sofia Boutella) is a truly entertaining villain as she slices and dices her enemies with her razor sharp prosthetic legs.
Parents beware: on the surface this movie might seem like a fun-filled medley of James Bond meets Harry Potter, but this isn’t a movie I’d go see with kids. There’s over-the-top gore (heads literally explode), non-stop swearing and a few lascivious moments that even made me uncomfortable. Its R-rating is well deserved.
All in all, this movie is about one thing: non-stop entertainment. You aren’t going to find any deep, insightful metaphors here or a heart-wrenching love story. You’re going to find action, fun, humour, and most importantly, cool spy gadgets. If you loved Kickass and the James Bond franchise, this may be your new favourite film.
You can find Kingsman: The Secret Service showing on Execulink’s VOD service beginning June 9, 2016.