Kingsman (2014) – Film Review

Kingsman Film PosterKingsman: The Secret Service

Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Boutella

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book ‘The Secret Service’ by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons

IMDB Rating: 7.9

The secret spy movie, a cornerstone of the British film industry in the past and present. The British spy movie is seldom attempted due to the money-spinning James Bond films, but Kingsman is probably the closest anyone’s got to knocking Bond off his perch!

Kingsman is an agency of bespoke gentlemen in suits secretly maintaining world peace. Harry Hart (Firth), one of the organisations to agents, recruits unrefined London street kid Eggsy (Egerton) and takes him under his wing having worked undercover with his dead father years before. for Eggsy to get into Kingsman he has to go through their rigorous and dangerous recruitment training, where he competes against more upper-class kids for a spot in the gentleman’s agency. Meanwhile, technology billionaire Valentine (L. Jackson), having given up on charity, devises his own twisted way to combat the global warming crisis.

Kingsman Comic Book

Cover art for The Secret Service comic books.

The story is quite good, and pretty unique in many areas. This is a surprisingly cool film, before seeing this I thought it would be too serious, like a young James Bond, but Kingsman actually finds a good balance between being too serious and not serious enough to be taken seriously. This was a film that took me a while to grow into – at the beginning it felt just silly, and I couldn’t take Firths posh voice seriously. However, the film definitely grew on me and by the end I was fully invested in the action, characters and their posh British accents!

The acting in this film is very British, and very good! Colin Firth excels as Kingsman’s super-spy, delivering an almost faultless performance! While not delivering an overly emotional performance, the way Firth delivered his lines was very James Bond-esque – very cool, but also using his posh mannerism to deliver a quite funny performance. The same can be said for Mark Strong, who delivered a very similar performance, just with a bit more bite due to the character. Taron Egerton also looks like a very promising British actor if this performance is anything to go by. At times Egerton didn’t seem too assured with his performance, especially compared to big names such as Firth, Strong, Jackson, but with this being his first starring role in a feature film, it probably doesn’t come as that much of a shock. However, there were parts of this film where he looked very solid, particularly nearer the end of the film. I’m sure he has a big career ahead of him, and it’ll be interesting to see how he does in upcoming crime film Legend alongside Tom Hardy and highly rated British actress Emily Browning!

The directing in this film by Matthew Vaughn – who also directed Kick Ass and X-Men: First Class – is overall pretty solid. Some of the shots did at some times seem almost cheap, with CGI/green-screen work that wasn’t really up to standard with films of this age, however I doubt the blame for that should fall at Vaughn’s lap. On a better note, the action scenes in this film are some of the coolest, well shot action scenes I’ve ever seen.

Overall, Kingsman has a lot of things going for it. The acting is solid, the action scenes are seriously awesome and the story is fairly solid. To say this is better than James Bond is just wrong, but I don’t think it has tried to be. This reminds me a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy, another film that people didn’t expect much from but excelled by taking something serious and putting a comedic spin on it.

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