Movie 411: Kingsman, The Secret Service

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn (X-Men First Class, Stardust)
Screenplay by: Jane Goldman (The Woman in Black, X-Men First Class)
Rated: R for sequences of strong violence, language, and some sexual content
Released: February 13, 2015
The Hook: Secret Service + Action flick = I’m in

Let me start by saying that this movie wasn’t at all what I expected. I mean, I knew going in that there would be some violence and swearing, after all it’s an action flick, but I didn’t expect that much swearing or that type of violence. I’m not saying it was a bad movie, not at all, just that I wasn’t expecting it. It did catch me a bit off guard. I guess I should’ve known, though, with Samuel L. Jackson in it, 😉 .

Plot: It starts with a prequel. It’s a rescue mission gone bad. Operatives go in to rescue someone only something that wasn’t expected happens and one team member dies saving the others. Harry Hart (Colin Firth) pays a visit to his fallen solider’s family, giving the wife a special medallion which she rejects out of grief so Harry gives it to her son instead. Fast forward a few years latter and life sucks for this kid, who is now a teenager and goes by the name of Eggsy. His mother is dating a low life (I’m sorry, that’s the best I can describe him) and Eggsy has a little sister. He’s getting into trouble because of his hot-headed temper and after challenging some of his mother’s boyfriend’s friends and stealing their car, he gets arrested. When he pushes the police to give him his one phone call, he pulls out his father’s medallion, calls the number, and says the password Harry Hart gave him as a little boy. Then things get interesting. Of course, Hart, and Eggsy’s father, was part of a private secret service, independent of state or federal government. They were put together by rich men who wanted to provide service to their country without the red tape. An agent of this secret service died and now a slot has opened up and Hart gives Eggsy that chance. And things get exciting.

Enter the basic spy plot: Evil genius wants to “better” the world by poisoning the world, no one can stop evil genius but this uber secret service, and in the end it’s up to Eggsy to save the world.

Backdrop for the film is, of course, Britain, which provides much entertainment since the actors all speak with that English accent. I can’t say the feel of this movie is James Bond-ish, but it is your typical superhero plot. The dialogue is entertaining and the action sequences are not too bad. I didn’t get bored, but I wasn’t impressed either. I did laugh though. Especially at all the references made to typical spy movie plot lines. I also liked the evil genius’ plan in this story. Overpopulation is a concern and a topic that’s controversial since it deals with human rights.

Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary, BBC’s Mr. Darcy) does an excellent job as Harry Hart/Galahad. He’s always entertaining as an actor, though, and does play his roles well. I’ve never seen Taron Eghert (Eggsy) act before and it seems he’s done TV, but I thought he held himself well acting along side big names like Colin Firth and Michael Caine (Arthur). Every super hero team needs a geek, the brains of the operation and Michael Strong (Merlin) did a good job of that. Not only was he the tech geek of the operation, he trained the replacements as well. And of course, every super hero needs its villain, and what better person to play a villain than Samuel L. Jackson (except the Sutherlands, because Donald and Keifer will always be the top notch bad guys in my book), who plays Valentine, the super rich, super smart, super villain in this plot line. And Valentine’s sidekick, Gazelle–played by Sofia Boutella, is a great sidekick as well.

Action sequences and camera angles weren’t too bad. It was all straight forward, really, except for the end, where some of the hard violence comes into play. Part of the evil genius’ plot was to implant computer chips into people that activates a brain wave which enhances a person’s aggression center which translates to violence which leads to killing. A second feature of this chip is that whoever controls this chip can cause it to overheat and explode, killing the person its implanted with. That’s a water downed version of it, but essentially, if this person ticks off Evil Genius, boom! their head explodes. In saving the world, Eggsy and his crew ends up playing this card and instead of a rather gruesome sequence, editors turned their explosions into fireworks, which was much better. It had an Austin Powers feel to it for a few minutes, but I was thankful for that because … yeah, gruesome if not.

For an action flick junkie, I liked this one, but I don’t think I’d add it to my library. The plot line is something to think about and makes this movie pretty good, but all the swearing and some of the violence is a little too much for me. And I think this was in the way it was filmed. It’s hard to explain, but put it this way, I don’t mind owning both movies of The Boone Dock Saints, which can be argued as much more violent than Kingsman, but I do mind adding Kingsman. Weird huh? Anyway, I would watch it again, but it’s not a go to movie for me so I wouldn’t add it to my library.

Photo credits: clutch-mag.com (featured image) & IMDb.com (in-post image)

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InfoJunkie

In a 140 characters or less: I'm an easy going, movie geek, TV buff, book-loving, melancholy/phlegmatic, Scorpio kinda gal.

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