Kingsman: The Secret Service is Matthew Vaughn’s latest pairing with comic book writer Mark Millar, which tells the story of how one secret spy agency recruits a promising, yet troubled youth. Facing one of their deadliest threats yet, the organisation has to utilise its brains, gadgets and new recruits to save the world.
The film boasts a fine selection of actors, with some of the most recognisable British faces in cinema today: Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Michael Caine. Firth plays one of the more important roles in the film as Harry Heart, who sees potential in the newcomer ‘Eggsy’, played by Taron Egerton.
The director Matthew Vaughn has worked with writer Mark Millar in the past, having provided cinemagoers with the enjoyable superhero romp Kick-Ass. However, it is truly thanks to the talents of screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men Days of Future Past), who manages to turn the source material into something really special.
Her script really succeeds in setting the film apart from other spy comedies – such as the abysmal Johnny English films – by injecting some unique comedy and allowing for some great character performances. Colin Firth for example, can no longer be considered a typecast actor. In Kingsman: The Secret Service, he is provided with a role that has impeccable comic timing, fisticuffs and the ability to use an umbrella like never before.
For some, Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance in the movie might be unwelcome, but he perfectly fits into the role of the maniacal villain Valentine. His plot to change the world is slightly ridiculous, but it’s the typical modus operandi for a spy villain. The film realises how absurd the entire plot is though, and it unashamedly embraces it to full effect.
Hopefully the newcomer and charismatic Taron Egerton will be picked up some future roles. He’s a believable lead and he perfectly portrays the disparate youth of Britain today. Vaughn was able to get Daniel Craig noticed for the role of James Bond, so here’s hoping it works out for Egerton too. He is undoubtedly the breakout star of the film.
The director has often managed to push the boundaries of the certificates given to him, and Kingsman: The Secret Service is no exception to that. With the excessive use of body parts, explosions and an array of guns, it’s a wonder as to why the BBFC thought an 18-rating wasn’t necessary. Nonetheless, a 15-rating will surely (and hopefully) bring in more money.
Matthew Vaughn has a keen eye for action, and it is displayed lavishly throughout the film. A few action sequences may not benefit from the editing and the camerawork, but the church sequence is a stand-out moment which will really surprise those who are fond of Mr Darcy. Vaughn brings in his trademark style for Kingsman: The Secret Service, and it’s a pure visual treat from start to finish.
It is a wonderful cocktail of James Bond 007 movies and comic violence, as it shakes up the genre for a wider audience, by allowing a certain degree of fun and charm. It is blissfully self-aware, hilarious and slick, therefore becoming Vaughn’s best piece of filmmaking to date.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a fantastic way to kick off 2015, and it yet again proves that British filmmakers are the best at what they do. It is definitely worth the ticket price, and then some.