Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

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Five years ago, both Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman came together to adapt Mark Millar’s comic book series: Kick-Ass. Now on his third comic book adaptation, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman return to the Mark Millar archive with the adaptation of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Vaughn and Goldman have made amazing comic book adaptations before, but does Kingsman: The Secret Service keep that trend going?

Accompanied by the strong performances of its cast, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a delightful, lighthearted film that further proves that Vaughn and Goldman know how to make a comic book adaptation.

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Based on the 2012 comic book series, Kingsman: The Secret Service follows Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a streetwise London youth, who is rescued from his life by a suave secret agent named Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Eggsy must train and compete against others to join a top secret, privatized spy organization called the Kingsman.

Just like the Roger Moore Bond films, Kingsman features an eccentric goofball villain and a daft plot. However, this is a good thing as the film is deliberately self-aware and defiantly makes fun of the super serious spy films that crowd theaters nowadays.

It’s because of this outlandishness that Vaughn is able to have a lot of fun with the film. He’s able to take venerable actors like Colin Firth and Michael Caine and got them to loosen up and have fun with their roles. He is also able to maneuver through several plot threads and still create a coherent film. Needless to say, Vaughn has matured as a filmmaker since his days filming Kick-Ass.

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Now typically you wouldn’t see a serious Oscar-winning dramatic actor like Colin Firth brawling and doing gun kata, but as Kingsman reveals, this serious actor can also kick some serious ass. Firth has embodied the stylishly cool British super spy from the spy movies of yesteryear. Yet Firth is not our lead man, that title goes to newcomer Taron Egerton. Similar to Star Wars, Harry Hart is the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Egerton’s Eggsy. It’s their father-son dynamic that drives the film and draws the audience in.

Although this is Egerton first major big-screen role, he shows no signs of stage fright. Egerton perfectly captures the character’s traits including his yearning to make something of himself as well as his resentment on how [SPOILER] made his life end up that way. Egerton is also very charismatic in the role; he plays Eggsy with such earnest that you can’t help but root for him to succeed.

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Also making an impression is Samuel L. Jackson as the cellphone tech guru, Richmond Valentine. Jackson’s spin on Valentine adds another entertaining element to the film. Long story short, he’s a genocidal madman who gets scared at the sight of blood and has a very exaggerated lisp. It’s ridiculous on paper, but when you put it on screen against the cool, calm and collected Harry Hart it’s fun to watch. But every spy villain needs his-her gimmicky henchman and Sofia Boutella’s Gazelle is as deadly as they come. Her razor sharp blade prosthetics puts a fun spin on the gimmicky Bond henchmen like “Jaws” or “Oddjob.”

Lending support against Valentine is the great Mark Strong as the Scottish ‘Q’ type character, aptly named, Merlin. Merlin’s no-nonsense demeanor is a blast to watch when the recruits are trying to have fun.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is such a stylishly entertaining, heartfelt thrill. When most spy films are trying to be serious, Kingsman injects humor and excitement back into the genre. It’s so unique and so obscure that audiences might not give the film a chance but those that do will be in for a hell of a time.

Rating: 5/5 atoms
NR 5 Atoms - A

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1475 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.