Cinema Reviews

Kingsman: The Secret Service Review


London based troubled teen Eggsy (Taron Egerton) finds himself on the wrong side of the law one evening when he decides to go for a joyride at the expense of a local thug. It’s all part of his unglamorous low rent lifestyle. One which he has assumed that opportunity isn’t exactly ever going to knock on his door.

But when he does land on the wrong side of the law he does have one card up his sleeve to play. This comes in the form of a pendant he werars around his neck – given to him years ago by a man who used to know his father. One phone call later and he finds himself cashing in a favour and before he knows it he is under the wing of Harry Hart (Colin Firth) a member of an elite Secret Service group known as the Kingsman (Each member is named after a Knight of the round table). And it seems the timing of their coming together is fate written in the stars as Harry (aka Galahad) is looking for a new recruit after the recent demise of one of their group.

And so into a class of well to do snobs Eggsy is thrust to begin training for the empty position that has now become available.

Parallel to this is the evil-doings of a bad guy entrepreneur (Samuel L Jackson) and you get plenty of action to keep things bouncing along.

It’s important to have your young hero not be an annoyance, and whilst this is achieved thanks to the casting of the talented Taron Egerton, there is something he doesn’t quite have – and that’s the experience of the older cast around him. Put him in a room with Colin Firth and it’s clear who the boss is of the screen.

Firth simply eats up the entire screen when he is called upon. And he delivers more than this when he is called upon to deliver action. There are various scenes where Firth gets to let loose and bust a few chops (and in one major stand out action scene he is required to punch, shoot and stab a few chops). Firth isn’t known for his action credentials – which is what makes it all the more fresh to have him do it elevating the thrills for the audience in the process.

The film isn’t perfect however. It threatens to push boundaries but more often than not recoils away from delivering true shock tactics. Vaughn’s Kick-Ass managed to surprise us with the antics of the Hit Girl character, but here there is more the suggestion of such behaviour without truly ever delivering on it. And in one end of act border in the film they actually retract on some of the shock we were lead to believe was true from earlier on. Whilst this makes sense for what the Kingsman’s represent, it does make the film a little more predictable, and less daring (and therefore less exciting) than one might think. But to be fair – even Vaughn it seems is not prepared to break certain cardinal rules of cinema. (Anyone sitting in the theatre actually worrying for the safety of any pet in the film really is a sucker).

The film is also kind of a retread of where Vaughn has been before with the likes of the aforementioned Kick-Ass but more so X-Men: First Class. But he has learnt a few tricks along the way and some of the action spectacle on show is quite exhilarating.

There is solid support from the likes of Michal Caine (who we never see enough of) and Mark Strong (Whose accent lands between Scottish and West Country England). There are also smaller parts for other notable actors, but this is Firth’s movie.

Anyone fearing for the films content based on its release date can relax a little. Kingsman is solid entertainment that has plenty about it to make it a worthy night out at the cinema.

4 Stars




Steven Hurst

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