Quite frankly, I have never heard of British spy action comic book Kingsman:The Secret Service created by Kickass writer Mark Millar before I learned that it was going to be adapted into a movie. When I saw the trailer, I was immediately intrigued by the concept of a group of well mannered (and impeccably dressed) super spies who kick ass and save the world without even breaking a sweat. Sure, James Bond has done it for years but the level of coolness under pressure these guys have is out of this world. No matter what, I was confident that it was going to be a bunch of fun.
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a twenty something ne’er too well still living with his mom and abusive stepdad in the poor districts of London. Despite being blessed with great intelligence and talent, he has always found himself unable to accomplish anything in life because he is held back by his love for his mother and baby sister. As a result, he hangs around with his fellow ne’er do wells and finds himself in trouble more often than not. As he is faced by the possibility of going to jail for pulling a stunt against a gang of bullies, he calls a secret number, entrusted to him by a mysterious man (Colin Firth) when he was little. The next thing he knows, he is recruited to train for the very same secret spy organizations that his dad was part of, a group which dates back centuries whose task is to protect the world from evil megalomaniacs like billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), and his plan to start a new world order with himself in charge.
Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class) did a great job adapting another Mark Millar creation. At the beginning, it felt a bit campy especially with all the theatrical musical scoring that marked milestones in the film. As it progressed, it got campier. It got more over the top. It got even more unbelievable. And I enjoyed every single moment of it.
What I loved about the film was the general sense of fun that it delivered. It was British cast and it involved mainly British humor. Heck, half the time, I couldn’t even understand what was said, but the film had the ability to project a certain vibe that made everything seem cool and interesting, blending the funny and the serious and of course delivering in spades when it came to the action part. The script was good, the banter was great and it was paced to well to distribute the scenes in the two hour long movie in the best way.
I loved the rapport between Taron Egerton and Colin Firth, especially because their characters were polar opposites. Same with Taron and Mark Strong, who thankfully does not portray a villain this time. I like the mentor and protege relationship between the characters. The filmmakers played their cards right by establishing early on how the death of Eggsy’s dad affected him and Henry. In a sense, it contributed to the sense of empathy that audiences could feel for him and the affinity he feels for both men, who are not exactly brimming with sharing their feelings.
The action sequences were awesome and at times, it felt like a bit like a cross between Kill Bill and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It managed to become both heart pounding and hilarious at the same time. It was golden.
All in all, my only complaint about the film is that Colin Firth would no longer be part of the planned sequel. Otherwise, it was entertaining as heck and managed to become one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen this year.