I am offering you the opportunity to become a Kingsman.
A Kingsman agent.
Like a spy?
Of sorts. Interested?
You think I've got anything to lose?
I'm not a big fan of Bond films. Too clean, too boring and too stiff. And there was always Q who came up with some new inventions and coincidentally they came in handy in that movie. I would love to own his crystal ball. Also, every movie was stuffed with action, but you'd never see a speck of blood (Before all Bond fans react furiously: I admit that I haven't seen all Bond-movies. So I could be wrong on that part). And in every film a bunch of gorgeous ladies paraded around, but I've never seen a millimeter of offensive nudity. "Kingsman : The Secret Service" feels like a James Bond flick, but then provided with all these last-mentioned facts and an excessive dose of humor.
Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a member of "The Kingsmen", an espionage organization, which is even more secret than the secret service itself, that gets all the dirty jobs from MI6. Hart is a genuine Englishman and looks more like a distinguished businessman or banker than a master spy. During an operation in the Middle East, the father of Gary "Eggsy" (Taron Egerton) got killed, after which Hart gives this toddler a medal that could be useful in the future. 17 years later, during the kidnapping of a professor by the multi millionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), another secret agent is killed during the rescue operation. Hart recommends Eggsy (grown up, unemployed and no prospects) as a candidate to join "The Kingsmen ".
The whole film has the atmosphere of an old spy movie like James Bond or "The Avengers", a popular series from the 70's with John Steed as a secret agent who faithfully wore a bowler and was equipped with an ordinary umbrella with all sorts of ingenious gadgetry. Compared with the civilized manners in those days, "Kingsman" is rather brutal and radical. Don't get me wrong. Hart is an example of courtesy and attempts to be as reserved and correct as possible, regardless of the situation he finds himself in, as befits a true Brit. But it's mainly the dissolute tone and graphic violence that makes the difference. The film sometimes tends to take on Tarantino-like proportions. The fragment in the local church is such an example. 3 Minutes of rage swirling across your screen with Hart acting as a purebred John Wick. Or the scene in the local pub where he demonstrates equivalent fighting techniques as "The Equalizer". Colin Firth doesn't look particularly like a well-oiled fighting machine and some movements look rigid, but all in all this 55-year was convincing enough. He proves that besides serious roles full of drama as in "Devil's Knot" and "The Railway Man", he's capable to handle lighthearted, action-packed roles as well.
When Eggsy begins the grueling training, with annoying rich kids as opponents, I was afraid it would lead to a kind of "Ender's Game" or "Divergent" story. Fortunately, this wasn't the case. The whole training proceeded under the watchful eye of Merlin (Mark Strong). The only thing that was a bit unbelievable for me, was the fact that an inexperienced teenager as Eggsy, whose most exciting life experience so far was peeing against an electric cattle fence, can grow out into an experienced parachutist in such short period. However I tolerated this since this action comedy doesn't take itself seriously in the first place. And also lets mention Michael Caine, as the Godfather of all Kingsmen, who perfectly took upon himself the role of ancien.
In a real spy movie, a bad guy shouldn't be missing obviously. This part was played with visible pleasure by Samuel L. Jackson as the lisping multimillionaire Richmond Valentine who worries about the future of the earth. In particular, the global warming, concerns him. For this, however, he has devised a diabolical plan. Only the implementation of this plan is inadequate. Jackson is peerless in this role (About time after a few feeble performances) as the eccentric Valentine who can't stand seeing a drop of blood and tends to lose consciousness in that case. To avoid this, he has a graceful assistant called Gazelle (Sofia Boutella). A true fury and fighting machine with razor-sharp legs with the necessary amputated limbs as a result. Finally, also a honorable mention for Hanna Alström as the Swedish princess. She didn't need much acting talent, but her graceful butt was prominently displayed in the end.
"Kingsman: The secret service" is a must see movie. Do you enjoy a touch of dry English humor, overly bloody action moments and all of this with a wink to the great spy movies of yesteryear ? Surely this film is made for you. Brace yourself for this espionage which contains brute force as well as humor. And it doesn't avoid well known clichés, but still brings them in a different way so that you actually won't notice it really. Magistrale movie !
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