Kingsman Does A Service To Movie-GoersFebruary 23, 2015
When I hit the theatre to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, I walked in with absolutely no expectations. I knew Colin Firth and Batman alum Michael Caine were in it, and that it’s a film based around a graphic novel that I’ve never read, but that’s about it. I had seen the trailer twice on television, but it was enough to pique my interest enough into going.
It wasn’t until the film was over that I realized who directed it: Matthew Vaughn, perhaps best known for his directorial work for Kick-Ass and X-Men: Days of Future Past. He’s also helped Guy Ritchie with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a producer for both the film and the subsequent television show.
These are all important to Kingsman in what may seem like an incredibly odd way, but you have to see it to believe it.
Firstly, I’m a fan of intense action mixed with the story of a spy agency, and while I wasn’t sold at first, the film begged a little for my attention and when it got it, sunk its claws in and didn’t let go until the credits started to roll.
Oscar winner Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, AKA Galahad, a suave talker with his sights set on “Eggsy” (played by Taron Egerton, a relatively unknown actor from Wales that has a couple films coming up this year), a kid who just can’t seem to get anything to go his way. Galahad takes Eggsy under his wing in an attempt to have him join the Kingsman, a spy organization so steeped in secrecy that they’d give MI6 a run for their money. Galahad is a certified badass, a complete change from what we usually see Firth in, and its refreshing. He knocks someone out with a pint glass because he can’t finish his Guinness, rocks a bulletproof suit and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, and is responsible for what I would guess to be about 90% of casualties inside of a church that promotes hate (more on that later).
The film also sees Samuel L. Jackson as the evil media mogul Valentine (who also has a lisp and reminds me of his performance in The Spirit), Mark Hamill as Professor Arnold who chuckles like the Joker, and Mark Strong as Merlin, a man with a thick accent who puts the young Kingsman recruits to the test to see who will become the next member of the organization.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that this film felt like a mashed up combination of some films I’ve seen before, borrowing from some and then sticking them into a blender to create something of their own. The action sequences felt very Guy Ritchie (there’s a fight scene in a church where a lot of people are shot, impaled, stabbed and otherwise maimed that was done as one continuous shot), the introduction and subtle goofiness in a serious situation reminded me of The Losers, it was scored like something from Marvel and it had panning shots of a city in chaos like that of 28 Days Later. When I found out who the director was and what he had previously worked on, most of the connections made sense.
Despite seeing where inspiration came from, though, this film did a great job of standing on its own and providing a well rounded story, even if it is one we’ve seen before. Would I recommend someone go see this? Depends on what they like to watch. If you want a film you don’t really have to think about that has some great action scenes, this one is for you. I feel like Kingsman: The Secret Service brings to the table something a little different, and that change is always welcome.
[Image via film.ca]