Kingsman: The Secret Service Retrospective Review
Kingsman: The Secret Service is an action spy film co-written, co-produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn. The screenplay was written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman and it is based on the comic book series Kingsman. It stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, and Michael Caine. There may be minor spoilers but the film came out in 2015 so you've had a few years to see it. Prior to seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle, I watched this film for the first time and these are my thoughts.
The Story/The Direction:
The film mainly is about the recruitment and training of a potential secret agent, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Egerton), into a secret spy organisation called "The Kingsman." This agency is inspired by the King Arthur and his knights story and save the world without any real consequences or hurdles. The main villian is Richmond Valentine (Jackson), a mix between Dr. Evil and Mark Zuckerburg, whose efforts are pushed by his want to save the planet by controllingthe minds of the world's population via their cell phones. He also views the humans as a virus and plans to have them kill eachother, or at least the ones who he wants dead.
Vaughn and Goldman are pulling out all the comic book looks in this film. It is essentially James Bond plus the film Kick-Ass, which was directed by Vaughn and based off another comic written by the person who inspired this film. This does allow for some decent and creative action sequences and also great lines that poke fun at British spy genre such as how to mix a martini.
The cast is potentially the best part of the film. It is led by Firth, who is mostly known for his British rom-coms. He does a great job in an action role and I had a lot of fun watching him interact with the other characters, especially Egerton. Egerton, while I first saw him in Eddie the Eagle, brings a lot of charm to a punk kid who lives with his mother and abusive step dad. He works with comedy, drama, and action in this role and does all of them decently. They are both supported by a numerous amount of always good actors of Caine and Strong. Jackson is decent but he is the same but with a lisp, which I still enjoyed.
While for the most part, I enjoyed the action, it did get old at times and felt really over the top. There's one specific scene in a church that has Lynyrd Skynrd's "Free Bird" playing in the background that I feel went on too long. It allowed for an intial chuckle but because it was such a brutal scene, the joke ended less than a minute after it started. This film also was extremely violent. Normally, this is not an issue for filmgoers such as myself but it has to play into the story.It seemed over the top just to be over the top. If this is the style that Vaughn is going to be known for then he should stick to comic book type films such as Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class because the violence works in those films. The deaths in the climax also felt extremely silly as fireworks. A lot of the jokes seemed silly and I know that the film is poking fun at the British spy genre similar to that of how the Scream films poked fun at horror films. However, I felt the jokes did not always hit and it took away a lot from the film since a lot of it was based on poking fun at the genre.
Due to this Vaughn's visual style, this film does look good and the film's concept is admittably promising. I really enjoyed the cast and it was great seeing them in this action film. I can understand why this film was liked so much and honestly it was a good film. However, it is not one I'd watch again. Perhaps, the sequel will be able to fix the problems that I had and make it more enjoyable to rewatch.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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