Dir. Matthew Vaughn
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Read the newspaper version of this review over at The Gazette
Do you know what that means? Then let me teach you a lesson…”
I’ve been a huge fan of Mark Millar’s ‘The Secret Service’ since it came out in the classic CLiNT magazine back in 2012 as a comic series. So it was with nervous anticipation that I went to witness Matthew ‘Kick Ass’ Vaughn’s big screen take on this tale of world saving superspies…
"Ah Mr Bond, sorry, "Eggsy", I've been expecting you"
Kingsman: The Secret Service is however a total endorphin rush, cheeky, classy & action packed, both a reverent homage to and a street-smart update of the ‘old-school’ James Bond movies. Co-writers Jane Goldman and Vaughn are on top form adapting Millar’s hyper-violent, rousing story of young Gary Unwin (Taron Egerton) – known as ‘Eggsy’ to his pals - who transforms from teenage council estate petty crim to smooth Kingsman agent with the help of the erstwhile Harry Hart (Colin Firth).
"spot of potential bother"
The Kingsmen you see are an elite group of agents who operate at the highest levels but with complete discretion. Headed by Arthur (Michael Caine) and taking their names from the Arthurian Legend, including Merlin (Mark Strong) and Lancelot (Jack Davenport), they are the new ‘knights.’ Stylish tailored suits are their armour, guns, gadgets and technology their weapons.
"Kingsmen old and new"
Whilst young tearaway Eggsy is undergoing ‘the most dangerous job interview ever’ – up against rival candidates like the gorgeous Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and others who all herald from privilege backgrounds – a dastardly global threat comes to light in the shape of Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).
"smooth and deadly even inverted"
Can the Kingsmen rise to this challenge that threatens all mankind? Will Eggsy make it to become an agent? It’s delirious fun finding out… Millar’s story is gripping and amusingly self-aware, Jackson’s baddie gets many of the best lines – delivered with an outrageous lisp. In fact all the cast go about the action like their lives depend on it and the manic energy translates to a rip-roaring blast of decidedly non-PC fun.
Valentines’ sidekick bodyguard Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), whose character was originally a guy in the comic, is superb too – adding to the ‘Bond’ feel by slicing enemies to pieces with the blades she has for legs. But Kingsman is made most by the standout performance of Firth who takes to dealing out violent action as if he’s been doing it all his life. It’s hard to explain just how great it is to see him beating thugs, mowing down enemies and generally out ‘Bonding’ 007 himself – all the while personifying the perfect gentleman spy.
"The original Secret Service comic - translates well to the screen!"
"Who wants some?"
Repeated viewings recommended!!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(5 - Not just for your eyes only)...
Awesomeness ööööö – jaw dropping set pieces a go go
Laughs öööö – lots of laugh out loud funnies
Horror ööö – some graphic violence in places
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – fight for what's right!