Kingsman: The Secret Service is a Remarkable, First Class Action-Comedy
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on: The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson, Mark Strong, Mark Hamill
Running time: 129 minute
There are many ways in which I could qualify how good Kingsman: The Secret Service was, but perhaps the cliché of “instant classic” is the best, most concise fit. This unique film manages to straddle the line between spy-action and comedy exceptionally well. The spot on action was underscored with pitch perfect comedy. It flirted with the idea of lampooning an action-spy film, quite a bit, but never committed to that relationship. I am really very genuinely pleased with this film, I honestly could not ask for anything more. It was exciting, the characters were engaging, the story was detailed and interesting without being unnecessarily elaborate, and it made me laugh. It made me laugh, a lot, with some fairly intelligent humor. This illustrated, for me that the screenwriters, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, are not only very good at what they do, but know a thing or two about the world and secret spy organizations. This film may not be for everyone, when I think about it, I’m not sure I would want to know the type of person that would fail to enjoy this film. This may be my new friendship deal breaker, replacing the pervious hard limit, felonious assault.
Eggsy Unwin (Targon Eggerton) lost his father when he was young. His father died as he was in training to become a Kingsman, saving the life of his mentor Harry “Galahad” Hart (Colin Firth). Now that Eggsy is grown, but has fallen into some unfortunate habits that land him on the wrong side of the law, Galahad has a chance to change Eggsy’s life, and repay his life-debt to Eggsy’s father. A vacancy has opened in the ranks of the Kingsman, when Lancelot (Jack Davenport) is killed attempting to rescue kidnaped professor James Arnold (Mark Hamill) by the genius–billionaire philanthropist-villain Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), and his henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella). As Eggsy begins his training under the watchful eye of “Merlin” (Mark Strong), and Chester “Arthur” King (Michael Caine), Galahad begins tracking down Lancelot’s killer. Soon they begin to uncover Valentine’s plot to “cure” the earth and they realize they are the only ones that can stop him, or all hell will break loose.
This film contains some of the finest choreographed hand-to-hand combat I have ever seen. Even the fight scenes walk the line between pure actions, to slapstick comedy. I’m sure someone will post them with Yakety Sax soon enough and it will look a lot like a Benny Hill sketch or a scene from a Python film. Honestly, this is my single critique for this film. Some elements, in these scenes, could have been eliminated, without causing harm to the film. Without getting specific, as to avoid spoilers, there is a significant and graphic fight in a church. Many of the kills are excessively graphic. A good portion are clearly for comedic effect, but some I would question. Removing some of the wanton violence and gore would not harm the film because some of it did not add to the film. On the other hand, keeping it does not detract from the film either, so it is really a moot point. I really only bring it up because I feel it is important to illustrate that I do not see this as a completely flawless film, but I recognize the flaws I see are superficial and do not detract from the viewing experience. I’m just doing my job, and waiting for a free afternoon to watch Kingsman: The Secret Service again