Kingsman: The Secret Service blends action-spy with rambunctious comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
From the get-go, Kingsman reveals itself has a hard-R parody of old-school James Bond movies and Austin Powers. The film never takes itself seriously, which is what made it cheeky fun. Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass and X-Men: First Class) sends the spy genre into hyper mode with its zany plot, stylish action sequences and pure British pop culture. Adapted from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ 2012 comic book series, anything-goes for Vaughn and his madmen working in front of the camera (Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill and Michael Caine).
This is probably one of the craziest movies I’ve seen in a long time, but I had the at most pleasure in letting Vaughn’s sleek British-spy satire play out. Meet British agent Harry Hart (Firth), code-named Galahad, an international man of mystery with pose and savvy. Firth is brilliant in the role and kicks ass multiple times throughout. 17 years prior, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin’s (Taron Egerton) father died saving Galahad’s life during a raid in the Middle East. Fast-forward 17 years, secret agent Lancelot (Jack Davenport) is murdered or more like split in half by the mischievous Gazelle (the Algerian dancer-actress Sofia Boutella). She’s Valentine’s (Samuel L. Jackson) slice-and-dice henchwoman with bladed prosthetic legs. Boutella is wickedly spectacular!
Valentine is a cynical tech genius and billionaire who is proceeding to ensure a global threat, lisp and all. From his gunpoint and Scripture reading (Pulp Fiction) to his baseball caps and maniacal lisp, Jackson is always a blast to watch up on screen. Now, with Lancelot out of the picture, it’s time for Kingsman to hire in the recruits for his replacement. Since Galahad is in debt to Eggsy deceased father, he decides to take in Eggsy. This is where the real fun begins; Eggsy is a talented but undisciplined young buck that needs to learn what it takes to be a Kingsman. Newcomer Egerton shows his strengths and that he is capable to compete with the big leagues.
Other note worthy actors were a sly Caine (Arthur, head of Kingsman), a skittish Hamill (Professor James Arnold) and a hard headed Strong (Merlin, Kingsman agent and trainer). Vaughn spares no punches; we go from pub brawls to a hate church massacre (Like those Westboro loonies) to exploding colorful mushroom heads (Obama’s being one of them). This film never takes itself seriously and that’s why Kingsman works. From its stylized violence to its keen direction to its top-notch acting, Kingsman is extremely over-the-top, but never the less, fun.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is Rated R (Restricted). For sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.