When I first saw the trailer for Kingsman I thought to myself… well… that looks foolish, it’s “Men In Black” with an accent. Then I saw Sam Jackson and my expectations were piqued… It’ll either be really stupid or really awesome. Then I saw a beautiful double amputee (Sofia Boutella/Gazelle) showing no signs of her handicapable status being an impediment to slicing clean through whoever was so unfortunate to stand in her way and I swiftly purchased my ticket! I was not disappointed. “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a somewhat refreshing take on a genre that can sometimes feel forced and boring. While it is not without its faults it’s definitely entertaining with a few interesting twists that should also keep your interests piqued.
“Kingsman” is a heroes journey. When a secret organization that has existed for years needs to fill its ranks they seek out a worthy candidate. Luckily they have many including Eggsy, who just so happens to have a connection to the Kingsman’s Secret Service. During the vigorous trails to find a replacement Kingsman it just so happens the world is under attack by a noble villain (aren’t they all), Samuel L. Jackson/Richard Valentine, who would see the world burn to save it.
Without giving away too much away, many of these events are connected in a logical way and soon the fun begins as training coalesces into saving the world.
Matthew Vaughn directs and does a bang up job in my opinion. The performances were spot on for this type of film. Colin firth delivers excellently. Mark Strong is great and believable as a trainer/scientist/hacker/mentor and Taron Egerton/Eggsy is believable as a street punk turned gentleman. I may be partial but I really think Samuel L. Jackson steals the show if possible from a big name. He and Sofia Boutella are so fun to watch together.
So how does Kingsman rate out? Lets take a look shall we.
CINEMATOGRAPHY (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 4
For a blockbuster action movie (which I am personally classifying this) “Kingsman” has the usually CG generated big set pieces you would expect from a 007 style romp. However the action sequences are far from generic. They are engaging as well as clear (I’m looking at you Bourne series!) There are plenty of single camera style moments where the action is followed around the room. It makes the fighting all the more visceral…and there is plenty of fighting. The choreography is exceptional and there are plenty of wow moments where you will find yourself rewinding your brain to take in what just happened.
With that said, I just wish there was more of it despite the healthy serving plated up for us. There were more than a few times I wanted Gazelle to use those beautiful stems to slice up more enemies of change (my term not Valentine’s). The action of the film serves its purpose and is not overly extravagant for the sake of extravagance. The fights are followed smoothly and everything is discernible, thanks to the creative (although not entirely original) use of slow motion.
“Kingsman” is very much an action/comedy and the tone and pace are carried out as such. The camera work does a lot to keep the movie flowing and create the necessary emotions during dramatic scenes as well as action scenes. I did like the score as well and thought that it kept the movie moving along and also highlighted the emotional chords that needed to be hit. The film is bright yet gritty and does a lot to quench our thirst for realism despite its grandiose nature. (Except for the end, where the pitfalls of dumb, inaccurate henchman rears its ugly head, but I digress).
All in all I think George Richmond (cinematographer) did an incredible job with “Kingsman” as he has done with many of his other films including “Quantum of Solace” and “Wanted.” Bravo!
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE – 4
While the plot is not overly sophisticated it is enough to keep us engaged. The characters are colorful enough for us to care which means the film does have quite a bit of entertainment value. There’s nothing worse than watching a movie where you could care little and less about the main characters because of their lack of development. Not so much the case here, at least as far as blockbuster action comedies go. Obviously its not “Good Will Hunting” but if you are expecting that from this type you should probably pick up a Valentine sim card (see the film to get the reference).
Character development aside, “Kingsman” shines in its stunt choreography and action sequences. There are not a bunch crazy car chases. “Kingsman: The Secret Service” keeps the action up close and personal with a lot of fist fights and weapons play action. Those scenes are definitely re-watchable and fun.
Not to mention Richard Valentine as a villain is great. He is calculated and quirky. He is quite capable however not overly blood thirsty (actually quite the opposite) which is interesting considering his plans. He delivers lisp-filled lines with gusto and treachery.
RE-WATCH-ABILITY – 2
If I had to gauge the movie’s re-watch-ability I would have to say maybe once more. While there were a lot of fun moments and great action, some of the corny “bad henchman” type issues we often see in action movies plague this film. While the first time (and most likely the second time) it probably would be a bother, it may not stand up to repeated watching much after that. It’s still a fun sit through though.
My Re-watch –ability chart
- 1=Never watching again
- 2=Would probably sit through if it popped up on HBO or FX
- 3=Would DVR it and watch again or recommend to watch with a friend
- 4=Wouldn’t mind killing time to see it in the theater again. In fact I would like to do that
- 5=I am going to see this in the theater again, maybe twice more as well as stop what I am doing and watch every time it is on TV.)
- Entertainment Value
Kingsman: Secret Service is much of what I wanted. Awesome action sequences mixed with humor. It was definitely a fun ride which I could see myself watching maybe once more if I came across it on cable. There were some surprising moments as well as satisfying ones. Including a special happy ending that should be rousing for most in the audience.
I enjoyed it. Much more than I initially anticipated.