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Review ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ From The Editor


Rated: R” (2 hours 9 minutes)

Starring: Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Hamill

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

It has been widely reported that Matthew Vaughn wanted to do a Bond movie. Fate is a funny thing because Sam Mendes got that job. So, instead of Daniel Craig as Bond, we get Colin Firth as a more refined, more kick-ass version of the classic spy mold in Kingsman: The Secret Service (no disrespect to all of our favorite spy Ian Fleming or should I say Bond… James Bond).

The film starts off by introducing the secret spy organization known as Kingsman, and how they take on extremely dangerous, top secret missions that help the general population every single day.  The story then follows a young boy named Eggsy (Taron Egerton), whose father was a member of Kingsman, and the struggles he faces every day.

However, one day he meets Harry Hart (Colin Firth), one of the most highly trained and deadly members of Kingsman, and his life is turned upside down when he is then recruited as a trainee to become an official member of this exclusive organization.  His training is soon put to the test as a notorious supervillain known as Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) appears and starts to kidnap very famous and influential people of society.  It is up to Eggsy and the other members of the Kingsman to find out what Valentine’s master plan is in this intense and action packed film.

Vaughn has painted a world that feels like a classic spy movie world on hyper-comic book steroids. His production lines are clean. The filmmaker’s shots are so brilliantly framed that we think Kingsman: The Secret Service needs multiple viewings to catch everything that is thrown at the audience’s eyes. We get as much enjoyment living in this universe through Eggsy’s eyes as he does experiencing this ever-opening world.

Where to start with Egerton as Eggsy? He is given a true character arc to work with that isn’t stereotypical for a genre that could have easily gone that way. He’s not overly poor or overtly uneducated. Eggsy has just gotten a bad roll of the life dice. Galahad knows it and will not let up on his charge until he sits at their modern round table as one of the Kingsman knights combating evil for freedom-loving peoples of the world.

We also have to mention Mark Strong as the Kingsman who is primarily in charge of the upstarts’ training. Strong’s Merlin could not have had a better moniker. And when is Michael Caine never bloody brilliant? His Arthur is as in command in the most sophisticated of ways. Caine plays him like a wise patriarch who is firmly in control of a world awash in chaos.

The film is actually much better than Millar’s other comic turned film (Wanted) and not nearly as bloody (although every bit as violent as (Kick-Ass). It has not only a most engaging plot, but never quite takes itself so seriously as either of those other Millar films, and it really shines as it is something of a throwback to the early, Sean Connery James Bond films (although updated with a modern-day sensibility).

However, this is Firth’s movie. From beginning to end, he delivers a performance that we never knew he had in him. Sure, he’s got the Best Actor Oscar (for The King’s Speech) and Firth is considered one of the finest (and most popular) members of his acting generation. Yet what he does in Kingsman as Galahad pushes the boundaries of what we’ve seen action heroes do in decades.

Don’t tell this guy he’s in his fifties! Firth is simultaneously tragic, thrilling and possesses a tenacity for hand-to-hand combat through intense weapons work that eclipses action stars half his age.

Rating: 

Kingsman: The Secret Service is in theaters right now!

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