Movie Review: Kingsman, The Secret Service

(Source: 20th Century Fox)

(Source: 20th Century Fox)

Spoilers ahead. Don’t worry about it. Not that kind of film, bro.

I will give it to you as short as sweet as I can. It’s not a super-original film. Well-seasoned super agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) brings in young brash cocky young potential Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to see if he has what it takes. Meanwhile, the entire world is threatened by megalomaniac mastermind Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).

The movie is a nod, a wink and nudge into the golden age of the suave and sophisticated British spy movies. Think campy James Bond, full of gadgets aplenty. Eggsy will have to pass a rigorous training while things start to fall down and the world will need to be saved for graduation.

It’s fun. It’s campy. It’s full of fights, some falling a little too much into the violent side. A particularly bloody one inside a church was apparently cut down for South American audiences to avoid angering religious sensibilities.

One unnecessary scene at the end should have ended in the cutting room floor. A captive dignitary, a princess nonetheless, who resisted the easy way to save herself, actually offers sexual favors to the young new hero if he saves the world. Nothing new, except that a) went against the established character and b) she doesn’t know this person, nor witnesses his efforts to save the world. I know, back off. Just a movie, but still. It really worked fine without this scene.

Furthermore, the real end scene appearing in the middle of the credits does work a lot better as a finale. I’d prefer if they had kept this one in and taken the unnecessary scene out.

Recommended with reservations. Not enough reservations to not see it, because they are not integral to the plot but then again why not leave them out altogether?

Highs:

  • A lot of the old style gentleman spy movies comes forth on the screen. Yes, Colin Firth does play his role to perfection. Michael Caine and Mark Strong also make strong (I had to) appearances.
  • Roxy (Sophie Cookson) does play a strong character, up to the point where she needs help from Taron’s character. She does end up overcoming her own fears though. She is given a mission to help save the world, albeit a bit of a lonely one.
  • Samuel L. Jackson plays the megalomaniac villain. He does a good job to the very end, even trumping up some villain cliches in the process.
  • Cameo role by Mark Hamill.

Lows:

  • Princess Tilde (Hannah Alstrom) does seem to play strong character when introduced to Valentine. Then she’s a completely different character at the end of the movie. Yes, I know the movie is a male fantasy. Why abandon subtlety?
  • It’s up to Roxy to make sure that Eggsy’s mom doesn’t kill her own little girl when the world goes crazy. Really? Wouldn’t it be Eggsy’s job to do this? Wouldn’t it be more believable for him to be doing that call and convincing his mom to close the door and throw the key?
  • The scene in the middle of the credits, when Eggsy finally goes to save his mom loses a little credibility because of the other two low points mentioned. If Eggsy wants to save his mom from his evil stepdad that would’ve been the first thing he’d do after saving the world.

That will do for now.

Coming soon:

(Sources: 20th Century Fox)

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