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Kingsman: The Secret Service (Film Review & Trailer)

KINGSMAN box art

 

Review by John Delia

Move over James Bond, there’s a new game in town and they have as many gadgets and toys. Kingsman: The Secret Service is very cool and aptly fills the void for a sci-fi adventure comedy left by Guardians of the Galaxy. The main characters in Kingsman are smart, fascinating, and often time violent, getting the job done one villain at a time. Even though “The Secret Service” comic book does have a slightly different story and characters are renamed for the movie, for the male audience it’s still the best game in town.

The movie opens with one of the candidates for Kingsman getting killed saving the life of his mentor Galahad (Colin Firth). Having the duty of delivering the sad news to his wife, Galahad meets their young son Eggsy. When his mother refuses, he gives the boy his father’s medal of valor. Years later Kingsman Lancelot (Jack Davenport) gets killed during an operation to free noted scientist Professor James Arnold (Mark Hamill) from captivity. This leaves an opening for a new recruit and Eggsy (Taron Egerton), now seventeen years older, gets offered a chance to join Kingsman by Galahad. So begins a wild and crazy tale of gallantry and espionage to save the world from super villain Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).

Harry (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) meet Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a tech billionaire with devastating plans for the world.

Harry (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) meet Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a tech billionaire with devastating plans for the world.

The film moves along at a fast clip showing the rigorous training of the candidates, the special guns, explosives and gadgets James Bond style. Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) spools out a very stylized spy thriller with just the right amount of comedy for relief during his non-stop action adventure. He’s recruited the right cast, each having the perfect persona to represent the elite secret service, devious villains and everyone in between. Much like his film Kick-Ass he gets the best choreography team to make the fight scenes exciting and spectacular.

Harry (Colin Firth), an elite member of a top-secret independent intelligence organization known as the Kingsman, prepares to teach some ruffians a lesson.

Harry (Colin Firth), an elite member of a top-secret independent intelligence organization known as the Kingsman, prepares to teach some ruffians a lesson.

I had my doubts about Colin Firth playing a “Bond” type character, but as Galahad my fears flew out the window quickly when he gets involved in his first fight against a gang of thugs. He’s incredibly good in the part and falls right into place with the other able secret service agents. Who would have thought that an Oscar winner for playing a King with a speech impediment could move around a room as a killing machine taking down one adversary after another Kill Bill style?

The whole cast is terrific, but two sand out performances make the film work, Sofia Boutella as the bladed banshee Gazelle and Samuel L. Jackson as Valentine. They’re two super villains that try to thin the population of the world and make it a “better” place. Boutella does the slicing and dicing much like Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishil in Kill Bill. She’s part ballet artist and acrobat as she swings her bladed prosthesis feet doing more damage than a buzz saw. I like her vicious character as a partner to the mean and nasty Valentine.

With a high hat and a lisp, Jackson builds one of the cruelest yet funniest characters since Lex Luther. He’s a killer, but can’t stand the sight of blood, especially his own. Diabolical he’s as mean and narrow minded as Vector in the animated film Despicable Me. He only sees it one way however, thin the population of earth giving the rich a chance to start the world all over again. His mechanism? A cell phone.

Kingsman: The Secret Service has been rated R by the MPAA for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content. The film also contains a quick shot of nudity and a distasteful comment. The target audience puts the movie behind the proverbial eight ball however, as some sequences are too disturbing for the ladies yet right up the alley for 17 to 35 year-old males. But trust me guys, this film is not a movie to take your best girl to on Valentine’s Day (Try Fifty Shades of Grey).

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very cool flick for males with a cutting edge. (B)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Mark Hamill, Sophie Cookson, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella, Edward Holcroft, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Samantha Womack 
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content (also nudity, gore)
Running Time: 2 Hrs 9 min
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Corporation

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