Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 spy action comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn and in my humble view should be tilted, “The Kind of Movie A James Bond Should Be”!
Based on the comic book “The Secret Service”, by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar, the Kingsman follows the recruitment and training of a potential secret agent, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton) into a secret spy organisation known as “The Kingsman”.
The movie starts 17 years ago when during a mission in the Middle East, a Kingsman mission went haywire and a Kingsman candidate died. Harry Hart (Colin Firth), codenamed "Galahad," blamed himself for the death and personally delivers a bravery medal to the man's widow and young son, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin.
Seventeen years later, a Kingsman agent codenamed “Lancelot” died while attempting to rescue a climate scientist James Arnold, leading to an opening in the Kingsman ranks. Soon after, Eggsy, now an unemployed aimless young adult, got arrested for stealing a car and Hart arranged for his release. After a short trial, Hart offered Eggsy a chance to enter the Kingsman ranks which Eggsy quickly accepted.
From there, the film spilt into two. One part showing the training of Eggsy, while the other showing Hart’s investigation into the death of Lancelot.
First off, this is a fun movie! The slam-bang action about British secret agents is aimed squarely at James Bond and it was deliciously done. Vaughn is clearly a James Bond fan and even when the script poke fun at the genre, you could see the glee in it all.
Vaughn is helped by some excellent performances from his cast. Taron Egerton was doable as the wide-eyed rookie, Colin Firth shown some unexpected action chops as Galahad, but a
James spy movie is only as
good as its villains and you just can’t beat Samuel L. Jackson and Sofia
Samuel L. Jackson’s Richmond Valentine is the kind of over-the-top, take-over-the-world villain James Bond villains used to be and Jackson looks like he is having a ball playing him. I have never heard of Sofia Boutella but she more than held her own against Jackson. Her character, Gazelle, is an assassin with bladed prosthetic legs but not only that, Boutella managed to portray Gazelle as a devoted henchmen who truly liked, maybe even love, her employer. The interplay between the Valentine and Gazelle were one of the highlights of the movie. It is cute, menacing and lovable; all at the same time!
I also like how shameless Vaughn is to the James Bond references. A Swedish princess, an anal sex gag, and martini shaken, not stirred? Man, I wouldn’t be shock if the makers of the James Bond films start suing but it is fun to watch.
Of course not everything was perfect. I find some of the violence to be slightly unnecessary. The action in the church was seriously overdone and I don’t think anyone need to see so many heads getting blown up at the end of the film.
Overall however, Kingsman is a movie worth watching. Whether you are a James Bond fan or an action fan, you should watch it. It is that fun!