Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Running Time: 129 mins
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a British film about a young man, born and raised in a council estate, who is selected by a veteran agent of the elite secret service: Kingsman, to contend to become a member of the organisation and help bring down a plot that threatens all of mankind.
This film was so cool! It’s not just a hilarious parody of the spy genre, James Bond in particular, but it’s one of the consistently entertaining and thrilling films I’ve seen in years. With an absolutely enthralling story, that goes beyond just taking the mick out of spy movie clichés, brilliant performances, epic special effects, massively exciting action and absolutely stunning direction, this is a film that lets you be entertained to the max.
I’ll start with what I thought was the most amazing part of this whole movie: the action. As we’ve seen in Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn knows how to make a properly exciting action sequence, but I’ve never seen him do it to the extent seen here.
Some of the battles in this film go on for up to 5-10 minutes, and whilst I expected that seeing all that violence for so long would be tiring and boring, I was absolutely exhilarated by absolutely every action sequence here, thanks to Vaughn’s stunning direction, using the shaky cam to add to the grittiness but still making it clear as day as to what’s happening, as well as some fantastic songs to accompany all the action kicking off.
But it’s not just the action that makes this film so good, the story is absolutely spellbinding too. You’d expect it just to be a send-up of Bond films, and while it does do that a lot (particularly towards the end of the story), there’s so much more to be had from the plot here. The first half has very little to do with being a parody, and is on its own an interesting and of course hugely entertaining plot, introducing the wide variety of characters in a unique way and grabbing your attention right from the off.
Of course, the whole movie is a comedy as well as an action-packed thrill-ride, and it doesn’t disappoint on that front either. Whether it’s something hugely sadistic, satirical, clever or just plain stupid, there’s a high chance you’ll be wetting yourself laughing at what’s going on in this film, and although it doesn’t impede the story from being as exciting as it is, there’s so much laughing to be done for the whole two hours.
Meanwhile, the characters and actors are all fantastic. Colin Firth is stunning as the veteran Kingsman agent, whilst Taron Egerton is a hell of a lot of fun as the young protégé. Meanwhile, Samuel L. Jackson does a great job as the insane Bond villain, helped by a scary but still entertaining performance by Sofia Boutella as the Oddjob-ish evil sidekick.
Overall, there’s no escaping the fact that is one of the most entertaining and exhilarating films you’ll see all year, filled with stunning action, direction, performances, plot and comedy, and that’s why it gets a 9.2 from me.