Movie ReviewSpy movies have a wide range of scenarios and visual styles to them. The most classic of course is the OO7 franchise, which is still the tent pole of the genre to this day. But there are many others. While the Brits have maintained a proper level of elegance with their espionage tales (James Bond films, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), the Americans have tried to compete with them, but in a grittier, "dirt under the fingernails", sort of way. The Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible), Jason Bourne (The
Bourne series), and Jack Ryan franchises (The Hunt for Red October through Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit films), have come close, but they'll never be Bond. Other spy films haven't tried to compare as hard, and were clever in their own way (Burn After Reading, From Paris with Love, True Lies). Then there's the ones that tried a little too hard (The November Man, Austin Powers, XXX), for better or worse.
Kingsman: The Secret Service, is for all intents and purposes, James Bond to the extreme. It has the grace, the style, and the sense of humor, to make you appreciate it, before knocking you on your ass with one awesome action scene after another. I was very surprised at how well this film was done. From the first second on the screen, you can already tell that this is something special. Director
Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class) brings his visual style to this limited comic book series adaptation. And at times, it does feel like a comic book movie. What's so cool with this film is that you don't have to think hard while watching it, just be entertained continuously. One of this film's signs of intelligence, is that it doesn't bog itself down with commonplace situations and characters. Hell, even the inevitable love story that would have dragged everything down, didn't happen at all. The well-choreographed action scenes are seamlessly blended with a witty sense of humor. There are scenes that are so simultaneously cool and funny that I couldn't decide whether to clap, laugh, or do both.
The film's brilliant cast all bring something special to this. Colin Firth (Bridget Jones' Diary) politely kicks ass, newcomer Taron Egerton is cooly naive but capable, Mark Strong (RocknRolla) is eloquently funny, and Michael Caine (Children of Men) is well, Michael Caine (say no more). Nearly everyone of importance in this film is dressed in the finest of attire from their feet to the tips of their bulletproof umbrellas so, they look good with everything that they say and do. Samuel L. Jackson (Bad Mother F***er) as the villain, seemed uninteresting in the previews but he's far from that.
His lispy voiced billionaire is a quirky hypocrite, who's Jay-Z/LL Cool J wardrobe, beautifully contrasts with the protagonists' outfits. Jackson's sidekick, played by Sofia Boutella (StreetDance 2), doesn't have much dialogue but, she's far from brain dead and comes off as one of the coolest "Bond type" villains I've seen in a while. What she can do with her sword legs fighting skills, always ends in a bloody mess. The gore factor of this film gets a tad high at times but it seems to know when to corral it.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Kingsman: The Secret Service
The Good- The Church Massacre scene and Scanners on a mass level. Those two scenes had me jaw-dropped when I wasn't laughing hard!
The Bad- The killer mom scene was a bit goofy.
The Ugly- I can totally see a sequel for this film getting screwed up like the sequel to Vaughn's Kick Ass did.
Final Thoughts on Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service is smart, stylish, funny, and overall fun. I highly recommend this for any fans of action/spy/comic book films. I literally have no complaints about this movie. Well, except one- Why in the hell did this come out in February?! A sequel has been promised if this film makes enough money so, get your asses out there and watch it! Besides, who wants to see a big screen softcore porn version of a novel directed at dissatisfied housewives (Fifty Shades of Grey)?
There's a funny scene during the end credits but, nothing afterwards.
Rating- 8.5 out of 10
Running time- 129 minutes
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
R | 2h 9min | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 13 February 2015 (USA)
A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn (screenplay)
Stars: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson