‘Kingsman’ surprisingly fun spy film

Posted February 26, 2015


First things first: “Kingsman: The Secret Service” stars Colin Firth as he has never been seen before.

He plays Harry Hart and he is (there’s no better word for it) a badass. Still the good guy we like to see Firth play. But a dropkicking, kill you with that beer mug on the table or your own handgun, tailored suit and leather shoes on, bulletproof umbrella-holding gentleman.

MV5BMTkxMjgwMDM4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk3NTIwNDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_That’s literally what he and his fellow spies in the movie refer to themselves as — the gentleman part that is. The rest is the typical 007-like necessities. (You can’t win unless your cigarette lighter is actually a hand grenade.)

Then there’s Samuel Jackson, who plays Richmond Valentine. He is the snapback-wearing, gold-chain bearing, can’t really take serious until woah he is serious villain. He can’t fight and he has a lisp. Samuel Jackson as a lisping bad guy basically trying to take over the world is classic.

The movie is pretty kick ass. I didn’t mean to reference director Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 movie of that title, about superheroes there, but it definitely works in more ways than one to compare to his new movie.

This one isn’t about superheroes although “Eggsy,” street kid turned gentleman played by Taron Egerton, does attempt to save the world against Valentine, who’s plotting to basically wipe the planet’s population in an attempt to stop overpopulation and in turn, save the world. Didn’t really understand this until I double-checked online, but I understood enough in theaters to feel the kill-bad guy-or-world-ends suspense thing directors do (and Vaughn does in “Kick Ass”).

The movie is also literally all about ass kicking. It’s gory. People are stabbed in the eyes, head, and heart (and anywhere else you can think of) with brooms, knives, sticks and Valentine’s sidekick’s metal feet (and pretty much any other possible weapon too).

But it’s gory in that Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” way – a lot of blood but a lot of fake. Somehow the guy who gets stabbed right through his body and falls off a second story floor still manages to get a full sentence in afterwards.

Heads are blown off one-by-one with flying colors like fireworks to the beat of the music. Vaughn makes us literally smile during this. The movie’s light-hearted tone allows even the most evil of acts to be avenged with a chuckle.

The movie includes Vaughn’s usual eye-popping visuals and exaggerated soundtrack that makes it both creative and fun to watch.

There are always predictable moments in a light-hearted movie like this. The underdog street kid, Eggsy — who is also one of the main characters — is obviously going to make it out alive. That was not a spoiler. And a few moments of cheesiness are necessary to add that little bit of emotion. But don’t be fooled — the movie has plenty of surprises.

You might feel inspired by some, another might break your heart, and another will catch you off guard, your mouth slightly opened and a hand scratching your head like “how did that just happened?” Or “Wow. That escalated quickly” (but you’ll have to wait for the very end for that). It’s pretty scandalous.

You’ll get over it fairly quickly though and realize you probably shouldn’t have been all that surprised.

The Point: Don’t take the movie too seriously. The movie’s message “you can be who you want to be despite your familial circumstance” is cliché. But the movie is funny. It’s fun. It’s entertaining. And it’s visually appealing.

It’s bringing spies back. I can’t wait to see what Vaughn stirs up for the sequel (cause this movie has to have a sequel and will probably have a third, maybe fourth). I’d like to see the gentlemen’s striped ties spew poison next time.

  • “Kingsman: The Secret Service”
  • Released: Feb. 13, 2015 (U.S.)
  • Leading actors: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel Jackson and Michael Caine
  • Director: Matthew Vaughn
  • Written by: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Ticketing price: $10-$13
  • Rated R
  • Genre: Suspense/Action/Comedy
  • Critic Rating: 6.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Audience Rating: 7.3/10 on Rotten Tomatoes