A secret organization of high-class British spies who save the world? A tech genius who plans to take over the world? Does this ring a bell to anyone? Yes, it does. It's James Bond. But, it's a James Bond knock-off done right, and then some.
X-Men: First Class' Matthew Vaughn is the Michael Bay without the explosions, racial stereotypes, or any of the crap the latter's notorious for. Oh, and he's British. Already, this guy's awesome.
He's helmed several films that have received critical and audience praise, with the best examples being Stardust, Kick-Ass, Layer Cake, and the aforementioned X-Men: First Class. Kingman: The Secret Service is no exception.
It's bloody fun.
The son of a deceased secret agent named Eggsy (newcomer Taron Egerton) is taken under the wing of Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an expert British spy, in an organization of civilized a**-kickers known as the Kingsmen, which consist of Merlin (Mark Strong), Harry, and Chester King (Michael Caine). Together with the Kingsmen, their goal is to stop Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from taking over the world with...you know what? I'm not gonna spoil it for you. Thank me later.
The chemistry between Firth and Egerton is spot-on, as well as the performances of the cast in general. They share an exquisitely charming tactic of going over-the-top at times, and at others, cool and suave. Which is a plus because every character feels like a perfect parody of the old classic Bond. Raise your hands if you compared Jackson's Richard Valentine to the main villain in Goldfinger. Just what I thought.
Speaking of being a Bond parody, the humor is delightfully witty and full-of-itself. There are moments within the film that make you think that it knows it's a movie, which, for some films, is hilarious. Even the few instances of product placement in this film is hilarious. Just look at this example.
Allow me to pick your jaw up from off the floor.
The action sequences are some of the best, if not a little too graphic, I've seen in a while. Matthew Vaughn's that kind of director that tries his hardest to have his actors fight the most gruesome fight scenes in a film. If Matthew Vaughn wants Firth to literally impale, mangle, behead, stab, shoot, or whatever in any grotesque way imaginable, he'll make it happen. Again, it may be a little too violent for some, even for R-rated films, but for the rest of us, it's a joy to watch.
This is a film that knows it's silly and over-the-top and embraces it with open arms. So, get to it, lads, see this film!