There is nothing like a good spy film. Not the modern gritty films where our spy is pushed too far and has to come back from the brink, but I mean the cheesy over the top megalomaniacs bent on world domination vs the suave sophisticated gentleman spy, armed with gadgets and some cheeky one liner’s. Fortunately for guys like me this is no longer a problem, The Kingsman is all this and more. It has the shear OTT of the old school spy movies but mixed with the violence of the 21st century films and of course because it’s ever so British it has a little bit of rodgering involved too.
At first glance seeing a film containing Michael Caine, Mark Strong and Colin Firth you would probably think that the film is going to be some masterpiece set in the 19th century in the British countryside. In this case we have some very kickass fight sequences and witty dialogue. It needs to be said it’s nice seeing Mark Strong play the nerdy guy; he usually plays villains, though he is brilliant at that, but this time he gets to show us his dorky side playing Merlin and that’s not to say that he is not a complete badass in the film. Speaking of badass Colin Firth really impressed me in this picture, Mr Firth is an excellent actor and he never fails to impress, especially in last years The Railway Man, but in this film we see a whole new side of Colin. He oozes confidence and sophistication as he takes down any and all who cross him, showing all the best characteristics of the classic gentleman spy, never offending but always impressing, Mr Firth my hats off to you.
As much as we loved these heavy weights the majority of the work fell onto the shoulders of the relatively new and upcoming welsh actor Taron Egerton. He plays the role of Eggsy, who embodies some of the best stereotypes of British culture combined with the look and feel of modern British youth culture, this is not an easy feat and Eggsy was someone you just couldn’t help but root for. Sophie Cookson presented herself with the grace of an English aristocrat without coming off as a pompous bitch. Big love for Jack Davenport being in the film, anyone who has seen Coupling will know he is brilliant and does no wrong, hopefully he will be getting more attention after this performance, interestingly enough it was nice to see Mark Hamill back on the big screen, in a very subtle performance.
Sadly for all these great actors the screen time was constantly stolen by our villains. Samuel Jackson (Valentine) and his lisp was just brilliant, he was hilarious but intimidating. His femme fatale assistant, played by the now terrifying Sofia Boutella, with her grace and dancing skills really helped with her action scenes and made her a force to be reckoned with.
The action was intense and well-paced, with some fantastic camera work that would really make you feel like you where deep in the action; we even saw the return of bullet time, something we have not seen in a long time. There was some serious over the top bits that made you feel like yelling WTF but in the end it was a fun action flick with cool gadgets (the umbrellas), old school gadgets (the shoes) and some nice hand guns, just a bit of fun and that’s what I really wanted.
Musically you were reminded repeatedly that this film was British. You know if the cast, locations and even the clothes didn’t remind you that the film was British the music was sure to do so. From kicking off with quite an unusual car chase set to Dizzy Rascal’s anthem Bonkers and ending with quite a catchy tune by Take That (yes right now I feel like I should kick my own ass for that statement). The film had an excellent score that really helped set the tone to whole picture and hopefully won’t be overshadowed by its general soundtrack. Though I should note that The Kingsman had what must be the most unusual use of ‘baby give it up’ that I have ever seen. BTW, random fact readers, that song was playing on the radio during the moment of my birth so I have much love for it.
The style of the film was just pure class, with the cast dressed in bespoke suits, barbour and lots of other British classics. All sets related to The Kingsman where classy and eloquent or at least fit for purpose, while everything for our villain was over the top and theatrical, the contrast really helped add to the difference between our villain, who wasn’t real bad, but still evil and our heroes who were all that stood between chaos and order. The film was definitely over the top and a little ridiculous, but the film brought us to another world and that’s what we wanted, it’s a film thats entertaining and even makes you think a little which is everything I wanted and more.
Kingsman: The Secret Service will be out in UK cinemas from 29th January 2015 and in USA from February 13th January 2015.