Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a tough young man trying to find his way on London’s modern mean streets.
When a member of a secret spy organization, Harry “Galahad” Hat (Colin Firth), needs to suggest a new recruit, Eggsy becomes that offering.
Hiding in a tailor’s shop on Saville Row, Kingsman: The Secret Service, run by Arthur (Michael Caine) has come up against the greatest threat they’ve ever faced, a technological super-villain named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), who is threatening to destroy life as we know it.
With a bit of training, some cool gadgetry, and a great deal of luck, Eggsy will transform from edgy street kid into gentleman superspy.
We say, “It’s a new generation of comic book spy flick.”
TAYLOR: I don’t think we’re spoiling anything for people by telling you that Eggsy gets what he wants in the end. There are enough little twists along the way to keep everyone engaged in this story we’ve seen before. The film is self-deprecating on the matter: “Is this the part where you make a terrible pun?” asks Valentine when confronted by our hero.
Kingsman’s strength and value is in its style. Action scenes are a perfect marriage of choreographed stunt work and camera movement. Instead of trying to hide that the players aren’t hitting each other, we see Colin Firth sweating as he kills perhaps 100 people in this film, up close, in real time.
The fighting scenes in Kingsman are the best I’ve seen in a long time, fast, furious, yet somehow not serious, tongue in cheek, with a wink.
HOWE: If you take a little of Bond, a dash of Powers, and spike it with a splash of Kill Bill, stirred not shaken, you have Kingsman. It’s the perfect recipe to produce something different and new.
There’s a lot of violence and killing, but it is done without the aid of blood splattering every part of the screen, spoiling it.
Although explicit, it’s very tidy. The storyline is the same as every spy movie, bad guy wants to take over the world, etc. With its snappy dialogue, it keeps you entertained all the way through.
TAYLOR: I feel like kind of an idiot admitting this, but when Professor Arnold came on screen I thought, “Hey, that pudgy old guy kind of looks like Mark Hamill,” not realizing it was Hamill.
HOWE: There were lots of big names in Kingsman: Caine, Firth, Jackson and a cameo for Jack Davenport. Even the unknown actors that played the spy kids did well and each held his own against the seasoned actors. You mention Hamill; he never really went away, but this is going to be his comeback year, obviously.
TAYLOR: I liked the film. It entertained me. I was disappointed by the obligatory shoot ‘em up at the end. Still, it has style. Like a spinning shiny bauble it flashes and blinks at you so that you will pay attention. It doesn’t ask much and gives you what you want like a shovel to the face. I, for one, didn’t mind the taste of the dirt.
– Taylor gives Kingsman: The Secret Service 3.5 unfortunate titles out of 5.
– Howe gives it 4 mobile phone chips out of 5.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.