From director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service is a refreshing addition to the slew of spy films in this day and age. While some might label it as a parody of sorts, I believe it is a class of its own. Yes, it draws inspiration from the big franchises like James Bond and the Bourne films but injects a huge dose of fun. As a result, both critics and audiences loved it so we’re getting a sequel – Kingsman: The Golden Circle – next year.
The plot revolves around Gary Unwin (Taron Egerton), the son of Harry Hart’s former colleague. Harry AKA Galahad (Colin Firth) is part of the Kingsman group, a super secret spy organization. Gary’s father died protecting Galahad and the latter takes him under his wing and tries to make him a Kingsman. The young Unwin undergoes rigorous training in order to be the next Lancelot. While this is happening, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson Jr.) orchestrates his devilish plan with the help of his bodyguard, Gazelle (Sophia Boutella), to cull the world population by neurally transmitting a signal that would cause the entire populace into killing each other. When Galahad gets killed and Arthur (Michael Caine) turns out to be one of Valentine’s supporters, it’s up to Gary, Merlin (Mark Strong), and fellow trainee, Roxy (Sophia Cookson), to save the day.
I am personally not a fan of violence and gore. But the action sequences in this movie will make your head swim! It helps that all the scenes are shot centrally so us viewers don’t even have to turn our heads to see all the good stuff. Honestly, they could have extended Gary and Gazelle’s fight a bit more. But the bar room brawl with Galahad and the chaos at the church more than make up for it.
As far as the performances go, Taron Egerton definitely shines as the hero. His character is formulaic at best – a young boy who has roots of greatness yet living in obscurity. But Egerton’s portrayal of Gary Unwin cements his status as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. We’ll see how he carries the next film alongside Channing Tatum in October 2017. Colin Firth also surprised me as I did not think of him as an action star. It’s sad that his character died in this movie. However, he’s listed as part of the cast of Kingsman: The Golden Circle so I’m curious as to how they’re bringing him back in that.
As usual, I don’t just want to rate movies and tell people my opinions about it. It’s not like I can lump it with all the other spy films. As Valentine says, ‘It’s not that kind of a movie.’ Anyway, I am a sucker for rags-to-riches storylines. It’s easier to relate to a hero with a tragic backstory – Harry Potter’s parents were killed when he was a baby, Steve Rogers was bullied, Aragorn was afraid to follow in his ancestor’s footsteps, etc. The list could go on but I know you know what I mean.
The reason why this is such is because we all have events in our past that continually haunt us. We think that our previous failures or misgivings affect our value as individuals. In effect, we are inclined to compare ourselves with others and base our self-worth on how we stack up against the norm. However, each and every one of us is unique and we have been given different lots in life. But no matter how badly the cards were dealt our way, only we can determine where we go – to live up to our full potential or settle for anything less. Gary didn’t see anything in his future until he had a goal in mind – to become a Kingsman. It’s important to have a vision of where you’re going. If you don’t see anything, then you’re not going anywhere.
Because it was entertaining despite using familiar tropes, I give Kingsman: The Secret Service 3 out of 5 stars.