Mathew Vaughn, better known for X-Men First Class and Kick-Ass, gets another graphic novel adapted to the celluloid. And its yet another Mark Miller graphic novel, Kingsman The Secret Service. Having done just 4 movies, Mathew has proved that he’s one to lookout for especially considering he’s done a great job with Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class. I love both those movies and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kingsman The Secret Service comes a close third…at least for now.
Kingsman The Secret Service is slick, stylish and very British and as expected from Vaughn its a hyper-violent fun fest as well. The story takes off with a kid named Eggsy being recruited by a Secret Agent Society of sorts (a la Knights of the Templar) lead by Harry Hart and things turn grim as we learn that a megalomaniacal tech giant, Valentine, hellbent on World Domination. Clearly inspired from James Bond, Kingsman pays a huge homage to the old school Bond movies, complete with gadgets, supervillains, henchmen et al. I mean just look at the poster, it screams FOR YOUR EYES ONLY! The first half was thick with character development and gave little room for action sequences while the second half was jammed with so much action that it felt enjoyably rushed. Everybody in the film, yes even the the most serious of characters, have got the funny bone and humour is very much part of what makes Kingsman The Secret Service entertaining. Though, mark my words, post-watching the movie, that ‘church scene’ is gonna be the talk of the town and you’ll know exactly why, when you’ve witnessed it. An awesome display of action choreograpy topped with gratutious violence. Its Mathew Vaughn at his best. If you’ve seen Kick-Ass‘s Hit Girl intro, you’ll know what to expect here. In simple terms, its the Hit Girl intro times 10.
Colin Firth was superb as the smooth Kingsman top agent, Harry Hart. Watching the previews I was rather skeptic if he could pull off an action star and just like what he’d done with The Kings Speech, he left me speechless. It breaks new grounds as to what he can do now, now that he’s stepped into his action hero shoes. Mark Strong as Merlin was another remarkable character which we might just get to see in possible sequels. Although a newcomer, Taron Eggerton, evidently proves that he has the chops to lead the movie as Eggsy. Last but not the least, you WILL be smitten by that femme fatale, Gazelle, beautifully and dangerously played by Sofia Boutella. A prominent weak point was Samuel L Jackson’s Valentine. Despite Samuel’s strong performance, this tried and tested supervillain persona just aint cutting it for the new generation. Sure something like that would have worked out in the 80s or 90s James Bond movies but I suspect if the current gen can digest this new age weak-stomached megalomaniac. Weaker points also includes a severely under-utilized Mark Hamill and Michael Caine as well.
Henry Jackman once again makes it worth listening to the score after watchig the movie. Some of the tracks even reminded me of his previous works, Kick-Ass 2 & First Class for example. Add to that a well selected slew of licensed tracks, scenes like the finale will be forever memorable. ‘Give it Up‘ by KC And The Sunshine Band played during the Eggsy and Gaz fight scene was pure gold (I am a sucker for old school music).
Truck loads of action, enough humour and an old school ‘save the world’ story to boot makes Kingsman The Secret Service an inexplicably entertaining flick. Its strictly not PG-13, I cant recollect how many F bombs were dropped and I am glad they havent watered down the movie for the sake of MPAA ratings. This was the first Hollywood movie I’d seen with my better half and frankly I thought she would neither have the stomach nor the funny bone to sit through it, but she loved it and I thank Vaughn for the same.