In the time that the theaters are full of movies that try to gain Oscar favor while also depressing the hell out of adults and older teens alike, it can be refreshing to see a movie that’s just plain fun. This often means we have to settle for what ever horrible movie the studios put there because they lost faith in the project, but every now and then a good movie will take off and find an audience.
Fortunately, Kingsman: The Secret Service is one of those rare good movies, chock full of fun action, great acting and a dynamite script that keeps you hoping there will be more.
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a young chav who’s lost his way in life. His father died when he was young, his mother now dates an abusive prick, and he doesn’t see much prospects for him to strive out on his own. This all changes when Harry Hart (Colin Firth) bails him out of jail as a favor to his deceased dad, and offers him a chance to train and become a Kingman, a spy for an agency working at the highest level of discretion, and interacts with other Kingsmen (Mark Strong, Michael Caine). Meanwhile, tech genius and madman Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) maneuvers a master plan destined to cause mass destruction…
The acting in this movie is top notch, alongside some great stunt work, especially from Colin Firth, who holds is own in some very impressive fight scenes. The acting of the rest of the cast follows suit as all the Kingsmen play very well off each other and are believable as such high concept characters. Egerton adds a little depth to Eggsy himself and also adds some good stunt work that was memorable. It was also very nice to see Samuel L. Jackson play a character again outside of Nick Fury, especially one like Valentine who was funny, despicable and charismatic at the same time. This praise also extends to Mark Strong, who plays the “Q” character Merlin.
The direction of Matthew Vaughn (X:Men:First Class, Stardust) was also very good, showing again that he knows his way around a fight scene and action sequences. His pacing is a tad off in this film however and it may seem a bit long, and sometimes the movie can be uneven in tone, but that is a small criticism for very good director.
His and Jane Goldman’s script was truly great as well, full of humor and action as well as being very self aware in it’s parodying of James Bond films alongside other staples of the spy genre. The lines work very well, especially a line uttered by Firth to a woman in a church that was the most quoted line of the audience as the credits rolled.
Other production values are very solid, but the CGI can sometimes be a little shaky while it makes up for it in other scenes. The cinematography was very good and the costumes (especially the Kingsmen suits) looked lovely.
Overall, this movie was a whole lot of fun, a nice, warm, respite from the winter freeze of snow and bad cinema. Check this one out while it’s in theaters an maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a sequel out of it.
Kingman: The Secret Service is in theaters now.