I want to write bloated fiction and travel the world where I wish to write bloated fiction.
Published February 7th 2015
Kingsman: The Secret Service
'That Is Bonkers'
Satisfying a more than obvious comic book fetish, director Matthew Vaughn (the Kick-Ass films, X-Men: First Class) brings to the screen what I can only describe as 'Percy Jackson in a traditional Bond plot'. I entered my cheapo cinemas with good expectations and after only several scenes I was fated to leave with a twisted grin on my face; if you went WTF during Kick-Ass (for all the right reasons), Kingsman: The Secret Service is for you.
Based upon the comic book, The Secret Service by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar, we're introduced to Eggsy (played by relative newcomer Taron Egerton), a petty crim with matching expectations of himself, who catches the eye of Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Hart, seeing much promise brings Eggsy to the Kingsmen, a secret service organisation that Eggsy's late father had once been a member of. Inspired by My Fair Lady (an element that works/doesn't work at the same time), Eggsy enters into training so as to join 'the knights at the long table'. The timing couldn't be more ideal what with megalomaniac Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) and his henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella whose role puts Grace Jones' May Day to shame) plotting to put social media to more devastating uses.
Whilst we're reacquainted with a plot seen many times already, it's certainly the little changes that do this flick justice. Firth and Egerton play their roles well, the latter making plenty all the more worthwhile, but it's Jackson who impresses the most. Never a stranger to playing the villain, Jackson's Valentine is a flavour that to my reckoning has never been tasted; it's the baseball cap that tells one this is a man to see from start to finish. As an aspiring fiction writer, this is the kind of character that tells me to lift my game.
With those not being Kingsman's only strengths, a worthy supporting cast in Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson and Michael Caine (who doesn't give into old habits) does a world of good, as well as some other small choices. I'm not a big fan of 'chosen one' type characters, so to see Eggsy make all of his own decisions and wear the outcome is a huge plus for me. It also helps the audience relate.
That said, this is a film that can stand upon its own feet. If you enjoyed everything that was wrong with Kick-Ass (like I wrote above, for all the right reasons), I urge you to give Kingsman a chance. The plot's certainly been seen before, but it's the small changes that make the difference. I give it 4 out of 5.