Kingsman: The Secret Service Review
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a brand new spy film which stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton. Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sofia Boutella and Sophie Cookson. Kingsman: The Secret Service is directed by Matthew Vaughn who some may know for his directorial work with films such as Kick-Ass (2010) and X-Men: First Class (2011).
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a story about an young kid who is recruited by a secret agent to join the Kingsman secret service organisation. We are introduced early on to a young Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) who is a character that is not so well off in life. He struggles with bullies and seems to be on the direction towards a life of crime. But Harry Hart (Colin Firth) sees much more in the boy than the life he has and decides to recruit him into the training program for candidates being considered Kingsman material. However as this is a spy film it needs a supervillain and we get that from Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) who is plotting to take over the world and is about to do a lot of bad things with the help of his metal legged assistant Gazelle (Sofia Boutella). Will our young hero Gary be ready in time so that he and Harry can save the world before Valentine takes over it though?
I wasn’t sure what Kingsman: The Secret Service was supposed to be before I went in and saw this film and thought it was some type of young teen action film, but actually it’s much more adult than that. Kingsman: The Secret Service is a violent action film which seems to lean heavily towards comedy in a lot of the scenes. While I usually don’t mind violence in films and often times I do enjoy it more than anything, something in this didn’t feel right to me.
I have enjoyed some of Matthew Vaughn’s films in the past such as Kick-Ass (2010) and X-Men: First Class (2011) and I understand with Kick-Ass in particular things are quite violent. But in Kingsman we have these incredibly over the top scenes to watch. There is one scene where people are massacring each other inside a church and I’m not sure if it was meant to be funny or what it was supposed to be but I just thought it was stupid. There are scenes towards the end of the film where it just gets increasingly more and more silly with overtop moments all over the place, so much so that I just couldn’t really enjoy it any further. To me it felt by the end that it was dragging on more than it needed to and I was wondering when the film was going to finish up.
I also felt with this film that as an action film it seemed to me now fairly obvious that hollywood can really just make anyone an action hero. The special effects are so good these days that filmmakers just know how to make a good action scene that anyone from Colin Firth to Taron Egerton can be made to look good somehow and the action scenes all look great in Kingsman. The problem is that I’m starting to miss actual action stars we once had like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger types whose realm was the action film and in my view they haven’t been replaced by anyone at all. Except everyone can be an action hero now, even chick flick star Colin Firth can take down dozens of people in a single scene.
The acting wasn’t at all bad in Kingsman though and I did enjoy both Colin Firth’s and Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Especially Samuel L. Jackson who always seems to be amusing to watch and his performance was very entertaining. Colin Firth was great as well as the English agent who is incredibly lethal and his way of speaking in such a proper way was intriguing. The main character Taron Egerton was okay as well but was kind of an annoying kid really but by the end was okay I guess.
I also liked the performance from Sofia Boutella who plays the metal legged assistant Gazelle and her action scenes were very interesting to watch. Especially the first one which was a surprise to to see in the beginning of the film. Sophie Cookson was a delight to watch as well but both these characters/actresses were underused a little bit in the film. Michael Cain was as good as always.
The film is packed with almost every single spy film cliché there is and saying that may suggest that it would be really bad. But somehow Kingsman isn’t. It’s entertaining for the most part and had me laughing here and there a few times throughout it. It takes a lot from the older James Bond films and it shows in almost all the scenes.
Character development is a bit of a mess especially with the main character of Gary who we see train throughout the entire film and somehow become this super Kingsman agent. Also the villain Valentine is someone we don’t really get to know about other than not liking blood, yet he wants to kill a lot of people. All the characters are just weird really and don’t really go anywhere at all.
Kingsman: The Secret Service does have a lot of funny scenes though that made it a lot more entertaining at certain points. I particularly liked the McDonald’s product placement scene and got some of my own when I left the cinema that day. I also really enjoyed the scene when we see Valentine purchasing a suit. It’s got a lot of small funny moments and I could hear a lot of people in the cinema chuckling here and there. In saying this though, it’s the reason I think the tone of the film is wrong because we get the comedy mixed in with the violence and I didn’t see why killing so many people throughout almost all the scenes of the film was shown the way it was, the tone of the film just felt all over the place and it made me feel like it was a mess in the end.
Overall I didn’t mind watching Kingsman: The Secret Service and was entertained enough coming out of it. But when thinking about all the scenes after I left I realised there was a lot I didn’t like about Kingsman such as the tone which is all over the place and the over the top violence. I did like the performances from all of the actors though and it had a few laughs here and there. Some may find the violence a bit much or the story super predictable and I’m not sure if that will cause people to walk out of the cinema or not. I would say overall that Kingsman: The Secret Service was an okay film that some may enjoy if they’ve enjoyed the comic books it is based on and are already fans of this story.