I knew nothing about Kingsman: The Secret Service until the trailer played in the cinema a long time ago, in a screen far away, when we weren’t being plagued by the Star Wars teaser. It looked like my kind of film and in a deviation from the norm I sought out and read the graphic novel it was based on. The novel was a fun read which had the potential to make an easy transition to the big screen.
PLOT: After his father dies while saving the life of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), a Kingsman agent, young Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is given the chance to join the elite spy organisation. As street savvy Eggsy tries to compete with his upper class competition billionaire tech wizard Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) is planning an event to wipe out the vast majority of mankind. END PLOT
There is nothing particularly original about Kingsman as the fish out of water and spy caper tropes have been done to death. What makes Kingsman different is that the characters are aware of the absurdity of the situation and they make references to My Fair Lady, monologuing villains and convoluted plot points. It adds to the sense of fun and keeps the tone of the film firmly tongue in cheek. There are plenty of Bond references and comparisons however it is taken a step to far with an anal sex joke which bombed spectacularly at the end of the film.
Colin Firth is the quintessential English gentleman but in Kingsman he is given more than his fair share of action sequences, including a brilliantly choreographed church brawl, which he handles with a surprising amount of ease. Firth is perfectly cast and it was a blast to watch him kick some ass with his umbrella. Taron Egerton has a likeable laddish charm and is ably supported by Mark Strong, Michael Caine and Alisha Heng. A lisping Samuel L Jackson is clearly enjoying himself as a criminal mastermind and it was fun to see Jack Davenport and Mark Hamill pop up in small supporting roles. There was no weak link in the cast.
The action ranged from bar fights to a good old fashioned shoot-em-up in a secret bunker but a parachute training exercise added at bit of tension as well. The scenes involving the badass Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) which feature heavily in the trailer do not disappoint. Like everything else in Kingsman the tone of the action always remained light hearted which is an impressive achievement considering that the number of deaths by head explosions are well above the global average.
Matthew Vaughn is becoming a favourite director and Kingsman: The Secret Service was so enjoyable I have finally forgiven him for ditching the X-Men franchise. Kingsman isn't a perfect film but it has the fun and silliness of the older Bond movies with modern day language and humour. How could it not be entertaining? Kingsman: The Secret Service gets 8/10. Expect a sequel. It deserves one.