Directed by Matthew Vaughn and based on the critically acclaimed comic book, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a spy agency based in the UK along the lines of James Bond only with flair similar to the earlier bond films. Indeed, the more recent Bond films have a much more serious tone these days where this film celebrates the gadgets, tongue-in-cheek humor and the sexy-sexy flirtations that made spy films fun.
The film opens with one of agents from the Kingsman meetings his demise and a new recruit being chosen. The writing of the film is well-done and entertaining with some clever dialog being expertly delivered by the talents of Colin Firth as the main spy stepping up to avenge his fallen comrade and save the world. I never read the original comic so I don’t know how the movie compares, I thought it was strong overall with some interesting character development, some interesting left turns and a satisfying ending, a very satisfying ending at that (you’ll have to see the film to understand my bun, I mean pun).
Vaughn expertly directs the film and if his name seems familiar it’s probably because he directed the excellent X-Men: First Class film. If you’ve seen that film, you might recognize some of Vaughn’s slick style in Kingsman. The effects and action are top-notch as well as a lot of fun to watch. One of the scenes I enjoyed in particular includes the recruits waking up to find that the room they’re sleeping in is suddenly filling with water and all the doors are sealed. That’s some pretty intense team building!
The actors are great although I thought the lead was a little weak in terms of charisma especially compared to the other actors he had to play against who are legendary talents. Taron Egerton plays Eggsy, the street-wise trouble maker (whose father happens to be the spy that’s being avenged) and while he plays him adequately, he’s really just that. The other actors he’s up against includes the aforementioned Firth alongside Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine and Mark Hamill.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a lot of fun to watch, has some great unexpected moments and is definitely worth checking out.
reviewed by Sean McKnight