Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Posted in Reviews by - February 05, 2015
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Strange spy film which attempts to spoof the James Bond formula as well as revel in brash and at times unpleasant humour. The cruder moments highlight just how brilliant Vaughn’s 2010 film Kick-Ass was in balancing stylised ultra-violence with genuine warmth and charm. This doesn’t manage it, but at least it is light years better than the ugly Kick Ass 2, and allows Vaughn to indulge in the giddy and graphic violence forbidden in his X-Men movies. As a director renowned for delivering the unexpected, there are gloriously irreverent moments in Kingsman akin to some of his best work. He turns a mass explosion of heads into the colourful last night of the proms, and a church-based gun-fu sequence is perhaps the closest a western film has come to replicating the frantic prison brawl in The Raid 2. Even the casting of Colin Firth – a thespian fundamentally unaccustomed to headlocks and machine guns – smacks of irony. He has great fun as an old spy with exquisite manners and highly accomplished combat skills. He adds weight to a film of quite shallow construction. Fine support from British legends Caine and Strong serve the same purpose. The story concerns gentleman assassin ‘Galahad’ (Firth) who grooms the nice-natured working class boy Eggsy (Taron Egerton) into becoming a next generation Kingsman: a secret division of British Intelligence equipped with poisonous pens, pistol umbrellas and bullet proof suits, all operating under the floorboards of a bespoke tailors in Savile Row. A technophile and environmentalist (played by Jackson with a half-arsed lisp) has a kooky plan to make everyone kill each other via an annoying noise emitted from a free SIM card, leaving only a few select VIPs, kidnapped celebrities (Iggy Azalea is apparently one of them), world leaders and royalty (cue a lazy and misjudged gag about the Swedish royal family) to repopulate the planet. The extreme violence is at odds with the more jovial aspects of the story, and although it easily satiates the target demographic of young nerdy boys (the acrobatic Sofia Boutella with blades for feet certainly ticks those boxes), it may struggle to connect with wider audiences.

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