Posted March 18, 2015
By BRANDON MICHAELS
Secret agent Harry Hart, played by Colin Firth, is no 007, and they make that clear. There is no Bond girl. There is no M, but there is Michael Caine. There’s no Q, but there is Mark Strong. “Kingman: The Secret Service”, referencing the legendary secret agent multiple times throughout the film, successfully play the action packed hero everyone has been seeking.
“Kingman” plays it right in a time when Marvel and DC Comics heroes are popping up in theaters left and right, “Kingsman” is a superhero film that stretches the boundaries into the imagination, without completely shattering it.
Unlike most 007 inspired movies, “Kingsman” approaches its homage in a classier, more sophisticated way. It is in no way a parody. They are not mocking like the Austin Powers franchise attempted. “Kingsman” succeeds by drawing from the action and legend of James Bond and puts those features into Hart.
The story of Hart and his protégé is one completely unique from the legend of Bond, even if he is referenced throughout.
After a mission where Hart is unable to prevent the death of one of his fellow agents, Hart personally delivers a bravery medal to the man’s widow and son, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, saying that if they ever need help, they are to call the phone number on the back of the medal and deliver a coded message.
Seventeen years later, after being arrested for stealing a car and taking it for a joyride, Eggsy calls the number on the back of the medal and is released. Hart meets him outside the police station. At a local pub, Hart tells Eggsy about the existence of the Kingsman: a secret intelligence agency that both he and Eggsy’s late father worked for, and informs Eggsy that the “Kingsman” have a vacancy for a new agent.
While James Bond is known for being the most important person in the room in the Bond film, perhaps the most appealing part of this movie is the cast. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, and based on a comic book written by Mark Millar, Oscar winner Firth is joined by the legendary Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson, an aesthetic and tone that all but screams 007, and a convoluted villain plot that would make Doctor Evil blush.
The “Kingsman” make sure to mention multiple times throughout “this ain’t that kid of movie,” referring to James Bond. The film separates itself with scenes that include murdering a church of racist hillbillies and a meal at McDonald’s with the villain. It is an action spy movie with shots of carefree fun.
Firth is, and plays, the perfect British gentleman, with a strong fashion sense and an appreciation of the better things in life, a pint of Guinness. Firth portrays a character different from any other he has, participating in some of the more elaborate and well-choreographed action sequences to memory and sporadically possessing a potty mouth.
It’s an unexpected and tremendous new side of the actor, who finally gets to embrace his inner Bond. At a time when legendary actors like Michael Douglas seem to take any awful role for the money, Firth seems to take a chance on something that seems more like a success than a sellout.
With a strong cast and veterans behind the scenes, “Kingsman” kicks ass from start to finish. Maybe we will see Daniel Craig call Firth on for a cameo in “Spector,” but remember, “this ain’t that kind of movie.”
- “Kingsman: The Secret Service”
- Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
- Produced by: Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn
- Based on: “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and David Gibbons
- Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine
- Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
- Run Time: 129 minutes
- Release date: Feb. 13, 2015
- Budget: $81 million
- Rated R
- Rating: 4/5