James Bond Joins the Comedy Genre
Directed by Matthew Vaughn and inspired by a comic series, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a secret agent who takes a everyday teen under his wing. The film has an all-star cast including Colin Firth (The King's Speech), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Series) and introduces Taron Egerton. Britain got Bond right, can they do Kingsman well to?
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a film that I hadn't heard much about and didn't really care much for seeing - it ended up being on of the most surprising films of the year so far! It had a good balance of action and comedy which is key to the success of this film. I'm not a huge fan of James Bond style films as they are always quite predictable and tense - this however, is very light hearted and enjoyable to watch. It is like 'Skyfall' meets 'The World's End'. The plot of this film is quite unclear at the beginning, there doesn't seem to be much direction. As the film goes on, things start to fall into a place and a good story forms. I believe that this film was in two halves: 1st - the training, 2nd - stopping the crime. Both halves were enjoyable to watch and were entertaining in different ways. In the 1st half, there were some 'Divergent' and 'The Hunger Games' type of tones. In the second there was 'James Bond' and 'The World's End'. I really liked the story and message that this film gave - never give up and fight for those you look(ed) up to. There are also plenty of plot twists that you do not see coming.
The special effects in this film aren't fantastic. The explosions are quite dated and the blowing up of heads is quite cartoony. However, this isn't much of an issue as special effects aren't a major part of the film. The technology though is fantastic - all of the different weapons are really clever and unique. They are also quite realistic to what you would imagine a secret agent to have - it isn't too far fetched. There is also a scene in the film where a character goes into space - this looks quite realistic which is a positive for the special effects side of things.
The use of non-diegetic sound is also quite effective and builds on the humorous tones. 'Bonkers' by Dizzee Rascal fits in quite well as does a few other well known songs.
The film was funny. Not as funny as Big Hero 6 (that sounds stupid but serious Disney has made a comedy film), but I still laughed at quite a few scenes. One of my favourite scenes was when a character mistakes a pug for a bulldog (you have to watch the film to understand the humour there).
The acting was also brilliant. It was a bit odd at first to see Colin Firth in this type of role as I am used to seeing him in quite formal roles - but he did do a good job. Samuel L. Jackson was also good however, his character had a lisp which was quite weird but also added to the humour of his role. The biggest credit has to go to new kid on the block, Taron Egerton - he only started appearing on screen in 2013 and this is one of his first major cinema releases. He did a fantastic job - he was humorous, a perfect Bond type of actor and was likeable. I really hope this film expands to a franchise so Egerton can expand his acting portfolio and open so many doors. He was brilliant!
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a very pleasant surprise. With a really fun story, light-hearted humour and a good mix of comedy and action, the middling special effects are just a minor negative. Egerton shines alongside globally known actors and has really marked his name on the film scene. I wouldn't skip this film as it is quite a treat!