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Kingsman: The Secret Service

2015-04-04

by: Kyle Armstrong

This is a movie not afraid to pay homage to the great action and spy mystery films, imagine London's Expendables, if the Expendables were actually good. It expresses its love to the Bond movies, but the more later Bond films, think more Pierce Brosnan, and if they were directed by Quentin Tarantino. Kingsman is witty, smart, and charming, while also doing its best to stay away from the obvious cliché and in doing so in a satirizing manor.

Colin Firth brings in the charm of the film and Taron Egerton and Mark Strong bring in the comedy. Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn collaborate together once again since 2010's Kick Ass, both films show a harsh reality of action scenes we see in the movies and comics and what would sometimes be more probable in those situations.

After giving the news to Lee's wife the news of his death, Harry tries giving his medal of honor to his wife with his phone number on the back, if ever needed. When she rejects the medal, Harry gives it to the son Gary "Eggsy". Seventeen years later Eggsy has grown to be the smart and witty troublemaker who would give himself up before anyone else (even people or organizations he is not that familiar with). This sparks Harry's interest in him as an agent for the agency named the "Kingsman" (while also being the name of their tailor shop, making them easier to find and not so secret? Or am I reading into this wrong?).

At the secret headquarters we meet the models behind the Suitsupply advertisements who are also competing to become the next Kingsman agent. The ones who aren't already apart of Biff Tannen's gang are attractive female co-stars that we will either not hear from again or become a post major part of the film.

While we have the first half of Full Metal Jacket going on at the moment, we also have the somewhat character background to Samuel L. Jackson lisping character Richmond Valentine who's plan is to implant SIM cards around the world hidden as free cell phone and internet access when in reality they are head explosive chips with the insane idea that would be (should I say it once again?) straight out of a Bond film, not to mention the dastardly plan to do all this while heavily advertising McDonalds.

The story is just the right amount of over the top that it comes out as hysterical without constantly asking yourself "What am I watching?". Richmond Valentine himself may be my only issue with this film, going back to the James Bond films (once again), the name is right on spot, however the performance is too undersold. Bond villains are known to be over the top, yet soft spoken and cool about having such an outrageous idea. Now I don't believe that Samuel L. Jackson has to pet a cat with a scar on his eye, but I do believe his performance needs to be there if they are in some form trying to create this modern day Bond film. I am not a fan of the Austin Powers films, I could do without any of the Austin Powers films to be honest, however I will give them credit for knowing their stuff (how unfunny I may see it to be) their villain is right on point with the somewhat calm and collective and ridiculous villain (speaking within only the first movie). If this film gets a sequel (which, I am sure it will get), it should patch up that small flaw with writing either a more cooler villain or a calmer actor.

The action scenes are extreme and very over the top, which is very fitting for a Matthew Vaughn and Mark Millar collaboration. The gore and action is in an exploitation like fashion, which is ironic seeing the Bond films (Its main source of inspiration) is everything but gory, keeping its action as classy as its lead, which makes the film funnier comparing these.

The set up reminds me of 2008's most underrated film Wanted, both play on the idea of over the top moments of ultra violence and both put a realistic character in unrealistic settings. Going back to the classy lead, Colin Firth is casted perfectly. If I were told he was casted as the next Bond (even now at his age), I would believe it, he has that "shaken not stirred" vibe to him and this film really shows that side of him. Then we have Eggsy, while Colin Firth steals the show, Eggsy is the character the audience is suppose to relate to more with him being the odd man out, him trying his hardest to adapt to the crazy world that he has just been dropped into.

Eggsy does eventually adapt and starts to surprise the people around him with his change and his dauntless, new decision making self. While this is a fine storyline to go with, Eggsy making his own decisions and becoming his own man, maybe the film is too much about his change and not enough about the people around him (Oddly enough).  Roxy is the character it should have focused more on seeing she is in a more important position than him, he still gets the entire finale, which feels odd to me.

This is more of a James Bond film on a sugar rush (which can be seen both good and bad, but mostly good), it plays on this fact making it funnier. That and it sometimes gives me hold your head underwater effect where there is no room to breath. There is so much going on that I could've given myself whiplash looking every which way at what exactly was happening. This film is so hyped up on adrenaline that I have worn myself out talking about it, as much as it is supposed to be that kind of film. Kingsman does not plan on slowing down for anybody so any audience should take a deep breath before seeing this film.

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