When you think of Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, and Galahad you most likely refer to the knights of the round table lore. Well this weekend, director Matthew Vaughn brings to the screen another variation of the classical names in the form of Kingsman: The Secret Service. After seeing the cardboard standees for months before the first trailer I pondered what was in store.
So when the trailer came a calling this is what I, and maybe you, might expect: Insane Action, Samuel L Jackson being himself, Comedic dialog, and hopefully an engaging plot. Probably more, but I have a word limit.
What you get:
- The team delivered on their promise of action, as Kingsman is loaded with high adrenaline scenes. From the get go things start off with a bang, and quickly transition into shootouts that are custom to the Bond film franchise. However, shootouts in this day and age can’t be like the days of wild west, but require some extra edge. Again this movie succeeds, integrating both hand to hand and gunplay into well choreographed bouts of destruction where both villain and hero make their moves. Now you might be thinking, oh great another movie like the expendables, just what the world needs. Not the case my friends. You see, Kingsman does something that is rare these days in which there is a purpose for the action. All the exciting scenes have a purpose in this film and each one is pertinent to the plot instead of just there to add some boom to the mix. Even better is that the action is not restricted to just shoot outs as well. No you’re not having an auditory hallucination, the action extends beyond the bullets and bombs. The first half of the film is all about the interview, detailing training without going too extreme. However, just because our recruits are training doesn’t mean the world stops, and the rest of the agents are out progressing the story as they try to solve the crime at hand. Regardless, the action is well done and proof that you can still have a decent story with action to support.
- Samuel L Jackson is still the same man we have always seen: dark and funny. Once again he steps into his bad boy role, only this time dropping the forlorn intimidation for a charismatic homeboy trying to change the world. His delivery of his explanations are hilarious, playful and straight to the point, yet still carrying that edge he is famous for. Adding the lisp to the lines was also a great move, and his role was one of the more enjoyable villains I’ve seen in a while.
- Outside of Jackson though, the comedy was strong throughout the whole movie and performed in a variety of ways. The dialog is very clever and quick witted making fun of a variety of cultural trends and themes. Big macs, sex jokes, even clichéd spy movie references, nothing was left untouched by this film. Yet lines can only do so much. Fortunately with the cast they assembled the delivery of the screenplay was executed well. Colin Firth’s sarcasm and prestige were excellent media to execute insults and observations. Taron Eggerton’s bad boy, hard knocked life approach was perfect for the spy in training and carried a different type of edge that mixed well with the fray. Even the environmental comedy was fantastic, with multiple crashes, punches, and other acts of violence carrying a humor filled twist that had my roommate and I rolling in our chairs. However, the biggest laughs for me come from some of the darker jokes of the film, in particular one event that will have your head exploding with laughter.
- This brings me to my next point of the movie; you get a lot of darkness to this tale. Audience members will be subjected to people being cut in half, bullets flying out of heads, extreme violence, and racist antics, and I’m still not covering everything. Now you might think this ruins a good movie, but it doesn’t, as the darker nature of this film brought suspense into the movie. How you ask? Simple, they are not afraid to push their characters to the limit, even pulling a few surprises like the Walking Dead that may just have you saying “What the f&(*”. The darker aspects of this movie help round out the film and provide some valuable story plots and action, that a lighter hearted tone might have limited. Nevertheless, I caution for squeamish and younger audience members to check themselves before seeing this film, or they might become haunted or sickened by the inhumane (and sometimes ridiculous) moments.
As my buddy said, Kingsman is a movie that has a lot of qualities and all blended together in a manner that is balanced. The story is laid out quite well, the plot itself engaging and organized to allow for action and comedy to take its place. All of the action had a purpose and was dynamic as opposed to other films of the genre. Comedy wise, again the dynamic nature of it allows lots of jokes and bashing on just about every culture. Vaughn and his team have made a great film that was well shot, well edited, and packed with enough excitement to make the two hours fly by. Yes, the darker themes were not quite expected, and the cursing/ cultural insults were a little much for me at times. However, both my buddy and I strongly recommend hitting this film in the theaters, especially with the dry spell coming up.
My score for this film:
Movie Overall: 8.5-9.0