“Manners maketh the man.”– Colin Firth as Harry “Galahad” Hart
What’s good: The fight scenes are intense and really fun to watch.
What’s not good: It’s a little too goofy to take seriously.
What happened: Suave heroes, cool weapons, and egomaniacal villains are all staples of the spy movie genre. Of course the most famous of them all, the James Bond series, always manages to incorporate the best of these ‘requirements’ in all of its films. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is a decent homage to the Bond films that offers an odd mix of great action and ill-fitting comedy.
Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is your classic troubled bad boy who has a heart of gold. Part of his angst is due to his mom living in an abusive relationship. Also, his dad was never around and all he has left to remember him is an old trinket with an odd phone number on it. Eggsy is smart, smart-mouthed, and never afraid of anything. He is always getting into trouble and this time, his run-in with a bully lands him on the wrong side of the law. Eggsy soon receives an offer to either try out for the most dangerous job interview in the world, or go to jail.
Harry Hart a.k.a. Galahad (Colin Firth) has been a valued member of The Kingsmen for decades. He blames himself for what happened to Eggsy’s father long ago and vows to make things right. Galahad’s ‘lesson’ for Eggsy’s bully proves that he is not to be messed with. Meanwhile, billionaire super mogul Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) has been secretly working to cleanse the earth of the virus that is man and his newest plan ensures that only certain people he chooses get to live. Valentine hates the sight of blood so he leaves it up to Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) with her knife-like legs to do his dirty work. It is up to Eggsy to survive the Kingsmen training so he can stop Valentine’s plan of destruction before he takes over the world.
‘The Kingsman: Secret Service’ is at its best when the action takes center stage. The fight scenes Galad has throughout are extremely exciting to watch. The best of them takes place when he has to single-handedly take on a room full of bloodthirsty people and kills them all! This film is surprisingly bloody and violent. Another great moment is when Eggsy is trapped in a room that is quickly filling with water and has to find a way to escape. All of the stunts during Eggsy’s training to become a Kingsman are fantastic and have an ending that you will not expect. Colin Firth actually carries the film and his character is far more interesting than Eggsy’s. So much so that you’ll definitely wish he was on screen far more than he was. Taron Egerton was decent as Eggsy, but never really stood out like he should have. Finally, Valentine is a smart villain because he avoids the silly mistakes that most bad guys make in these films. This proves true when he has a final showdown with Galahad that once again will shock you.
The biggest problem most will have with ‘The Kingsman: Secret Service’ is the silly comedy throughout. For example, Richmond Valentine’s serious lisp and ridiculous clothing makes it hard to take him seriously. His scheme to control the world and his ability to evade The Kingsmen are lost on his off-putting appearance. Then, there’s the scene where he offers Galahad the entire Mc Donald’s menu for dinner. Finally, what happens to Valentine’s followers at the end of the film really cheapens this movie even more. Let’s just say that it is reminiscent of a Fourth of July spectacle. These are just a few examples of the craziness that takes place in this film. Reducing these juvenile moments would have made ‘The Kingsman: Secret Service’ so much better.
Bottom Line: If you don’t mind a lot of goofiness with your action then ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is for you. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
Rating: R Run time: 2 hours, 9 minutes