Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2015 action/spy thriller based on the comic book The Secret Service, by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. Colin Firth is Galahad, deadly master spy of the Kingsman, and his induction of a former partner’s son, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) into the organisation’s ranks.

+ Colin Firth is the highlight of the film as ‘Galahad’, ‘knight’ of the Kingsman. His suave demeanor, coupled with the potential for intense violence means he can’t quite be predicted. I’m a sucker for smooth-talking badasses, and the English accent only makes him smoother in my mind. Not to mention he doesn’t necessarily look like an action star, so seeing him kick all kinds of ass is a sight to behold
+ Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson are fantastic as main characters Gary “Eggsy” Unwin and Roxy Morton respectively, two of the candidates to join the Kingsman organisation. The use of relatively unknown actors was a refreshing change, as I wasn’t constantly comparing them to their previous roles. This was a very good way to start what I think may be long and successful careers
+ Samuel L Jackson is hilariously evil as tech-expert Richmond Valentine. Though he is the main bad guy of the film, he never really seems quite able to stay afloat in the world of espionage, especially considering he has such a hatred of seeing even a single drop of blood. Don’t be fooled by his amusing lisp though, he is a very bad person.
+ Mark Strong and Michael Caine feature very strongly in supporting roles as ‘Merlin’ and ‘Arthur’, respectively. Mark Strong in particular gets numerous visual jokes and steals his scenes, and is responsible for some of the film’s most intense moments
+ the soundtrack is very enjoyable, both the fast paced score and the choice of songs. The songs in particular are used to great effect in various scenes, including KC & the Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird
+ the action choreography is amazing, featuring the ‘flash’ of spy movies like James Bond, but the lethality and intensity of John Wick. One moment in particular I have added to my personal list of best fight scenes
+ the film was actually able, a few times, to have me leaning forward on my seat due to tension and the thought that maybe the film, which already subverted my expectations, would continue to do so

– ending is a little bit silly, considering the rest of the film deconstructs the ‘spy movie’ tropes, but maybe that was intentional

> Ralph Ineson, the voice of Charles Vane from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag shows up for one scene, and I immediately recognized his fantastic ‘growl’ of a voice.

Should you watch this movie: Definitely. Stellar performances by some of Britain’s best, and newcomers alike, and furious action scenes with just the right hint of humour make this one of the best films I have seen in a very long time.

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