Holy awesome Colin Firth. Just look at that photo. That alone should intrigue you to see Kingsman: The Secret Service. And if you haven’t quite finished your afternoon tea and made it out to the movies, then this review by Jenny & Ryan will satiate your palate until the next time you get a hankering for a little shower of bullets with your umbrella. Spoilers ahead, so watch your step.
Manners Maketh Man – or so they say in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. So in the spirit of such manners, we will let the lady of the group go first.
JENNY’S REVIEW: – Unlike Ryan, I did not read the comic before I went to see the movie. I’m a huge fan of Mark Millar, unfortunately I didn’t hear about the comic until it was too late. Thus my review is from the perspective of someone who saw the movie without reading this comic first. And shame on me because Millar has written a bunch of my favorite titles like Kick-Ass, Ultimate X-Men, and so much more. Don’t believe me, check out his current running list. And when you team Millar up with a director like Matthew Vaughn, then you have a force to be reckoned with! This movie was more than just “kick-ass”… it was unabashedly maniacal! (That’s code for holy-sh*t, I can’t believe that scene just happened, but it did, and I still think it’s awesome).
Let’s talk about the casting. First of all – you can never go wrong with Colin Firth. It’s a nice change from the days of old when Firth played a sappy-yet-lovable Mr. Darcy to now see him as Harry: the unapologetic lethal killer.
You get the sense that Harry is going to do some damage in this movie right off the bat, but I can promise you friends, you have no idea what’s in store until you reach the 2nd act of the movie – and it’s well worth the wait. Vaughn’s style of cinematography encapsulates the genius that is Harry’s ability to kill and the training the Kingsman have received over time. I was left in shock, horror, and awe at what Vaughn was able to capture, but also, at how bad-ass I now viewed Colin Firth after this specific scene. Truly.
Obviously, this is not the Firth show. There are other very important actors/characters that moves the story along. People like Mark Strong (Merlin), Michael Caine (Arthur), Mark Hamill (Prof. Arnold), Samuel L. Jackson (Valentine), and the Kingsman candidates (as seen below) all add to the brilliant twist and turn of what the Kingsman: The Secret Service represent, and ultimately, what it becomes.
Without the variety of hooligans, hot-heads, or goodie-two-shoes, this movie would actually just be a blatant mashup of Austin-Powers meets James Bond. But Vaughn does a superb job of showing the intricacies of human trials & tribulation, while also finding time to keep it light and fun. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the hidden gems of humor scattered throughout.
With any good movie, the hero of the day needs to be vulnerable yet likable. And I love what the actor Taron Egerton brings to the character “Eggsy.” I haven’t seen Egerton in much, but I definitely liked him in this role. When we first meet Eggsy, we find out he’s a troubled lad who’s father died when he was young. Ultimate that sets his mom on a path of rough boyfriends who make life hard for Eggsy. Fighting his way from one gang to the next, Eggsy is finally picked up by Harry (Colin Firth) to help straighten him out and give him a different life, one in which his father (also a former Kingsman) would be proud. And thus that starts the story of how Eggsy becomes a Kingsman, which will eventually close the loop from Harry to Eggsy.
All in all – I give this movie 8 golden lighter grenades out of 10. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll be itching for more. Go see it!
RYAN’S REVIEW – If the comic book had never been written this would be an okay movie. But given that this is based on a really fun Millar comic book, it’s still an okay movie. Great? No. Bad? No. Just fine.
Is it unfair to compare the movie to the comic book? Perhaps. But it isn’t like the concept of having an elite group of super spies is so unique that they needed to take a comic book about the subject if they wanted to make a similar movie. They chose to get the rights to the comic and they changed a lot of big parts. I get that this must happen in the transition from comic to movie, but they made strange choices that left the whole movie feeling a bit long and boring at parts. Action scenes were great but they were a bit spread out.
This movie is still a world closer to its source material than the last major Millar comic to become a movie: Wanted. That only thing that movie shared with its source material was the name–this film at least took some of the bigger plot points. But they also changed things that didn’t need to be changed–like who the bad guy was kidnapping and why (they actually changed it to something that makes NO SENSE AT ALL given his scheme.
This beats a lot of the post-holiday crap Hollywood releases, but still a mild disappointment. I give it 6 out of 10 Mark Hamill cameos.