Brilliant! Kingsman: the Secret Service is a superb spy/thriller movie that truly hooks you from the very beginning. It has everything: action, comedy, attractive actors, violence, and twists/turns around every corner. Complete with impeccable writing and outstanding direction, this movie will have you wanting more following the denouement (conclusion). Unlike other spy genre films that are either self-reflexive or parody themselves, this film manages to include antics, fun animations, and humor without crossing that line. The movie is very well paced and structured, and will keep your eyes and ears glued to the screen for the duration of the movie that surprisingly exceeds two hours, yet will not feel like it in the least. If you enjoy well-produced spy movies that are both exciting and fun, then bring a date and check out 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: the Secret Service at your local theatre this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Kingsman: the Secret Service is about an organization of gentleman who operate under the highest discretion protecting the world. After the death of one of the agents, the Kingsmen must replace him with a new “knight.” After a night of hi jinx, attractive London miscreant Eggy Unwin (Taron Egerton) winds up in prison and uses his one phone, not to call his mom, but call to contact a gentleman that used to work with his long-deceased father. When his father died in the line of duty, this mysterious organization promised Eggy and his mom that if they were ever in trouble that they could call for help. In no time at all, Eggy is released and he meets Harry Hart (Colin Firth), the gentleman who set him free. Through a series of action-packed events, Hart recruits Eggy to compete to be the next Kingsman. It is here that Eggy and the other recruits, which includes two females, will be put through a series of unconventional tests to determine who has the balls to join the knightly ranks of this most secret service. Meanwhile, media mogul and millionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is developing the most diabolical plan to solve the pressing global environmental issue of climate change. Only, his method will have far-reaching consequences in the effort to cure a sickly earth.
The best part about this movie is that director Matthew Vaughn and writers Jane Goldman, Mark Miller (story), and Dave Gibbons (story) take what could easily be another par-for-the-course spy movie/James Bond knockoff and take it to the next level. On one hand, when you hear about a spy movie that includes a lot of humor and action, you may think of the Austin Powers series. But that is where you are wrong. The director and writers carefully combine the best of both elements to produce a spy/thriller movie that has the ability to hook just about anyone into watching it. Unlike some spy movies that appeal to a devoted, but narrow crowd, Kingsman: the Secret Service utilized the allure of over-the-top action, sexy young adult spy-trainees, Hollywood royalty, and well developed characters to generate enthusiasm for the well-executed story. And the best part is, whereas the plot in many spy movies is very predictable–even if well written/directed–this movie has ample shock value in the twists and turns that face our heroes, and the audience will not see them coming.
I cannot think of a better cast for the film. Everyone from Michael Caine to Taron Egerton was perfectly selected for their respective roles. Firth does an excellent job at the spy/father figure to Egerton’s young adult miscreant with great potential. Caine adds that air of class to his leadership of the Kingman. And Jackson definitely plays the role of the socio-pathological mastermind villain who wants to take over the world, as any good villain in a spy movie does. It’s so easy for characters in these type of movies to lack development and the plot exposition, but this movie does a great job at developing the characters into ones you love or love to hate; and, the plot contains a sufficient amount of exposition so the audience can follow the plot and believe it to be real, within the context of the narrative.
From the great cast to the fun and thrilling plot; from the well-choreographed fight sequences to the humor pandering to college-aged audiences, this movie will put you on a roller coaster that ranks very highly in entertainment value. Whether you like spy movies or not, you will likely find some enjoyment in this film that takes the cliché espionage action movie to a whole new level. If for no other reason, this is a much better date movie for Valentine’s Day weekend than Fifty Shades of Grey; because what would be more fun: a plotless movie filled with vapid, one-dimensional characters OR an action-packed, dynamic spy movie, with well-developed characters and plot? I think the choice is clear
Written by R.L. Terry
Edited by Jen Wead