Thursday, October 22, 2015

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Writer: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson, & Michael Caine

One-Line Plot Synopsis: A British Secret Service agent (Firth) recruits the next generation of Brits.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is coming soon to HBO so I thought it would be a good idea to get this review out there because I think it's a movie that is definitely worth checking out.  Colin Firth plays an aging Secret Service agent who is in search of recruiting the next generation of British spies.  It's definitely a different role for Firth to play as he usually gets the role of a more polished politician type who uses his words as his main weapon.  In Kingsman, he gets a chance to play a James Bond-type of character who, for lack of a better term, kicks some ass.

Newcomer Taron Egerton, who plays young recruit Eggsy, was a pleasant surprise to the cast. There's a fine line when it comes to playing a tough guy sort of character, especially when you're not that big in stature but he pulls off that cocky yet somewhat unassuming quality.  For some reason, I think that the accent actually helps with that.  It reminds me of a type of swagger that some Brit actors carry with them.  I hate the term swagger but I don't know how else to put it.  It reminds me a lot of Charlie Hunnam as Pete Dunham in Green Street Hooligans or Joe Cole as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders. Egerton is someone who could burst on to the movie scene in a much larger way in the next couple of years.  He has a way of drawing you in to his character that will only get stronger with more experience.  He has a part in the upcoming Tom Hardy movie Legend where Hardy plays a pair of twins that could give him more exposure to a larger audience.  In fact, he reminds me slightly of Hardy now that I think of it.

I have to be honest, my expectations weren't all that high for this movie going into it.  I thought it was going to be a by-the-numbers spy movie that was more aimed to a teenage audience.  Much to my surprise the fight choreography and story were both really good.  There's one scene in the movie that is especially fucking awesome.  If you plan on seeing the movie soon, then I would recommend not watching the below clip so that you can experience it in real time on a bigger screen, but if not, then check out the below to get your movie-violence fix.  It doesn't hurt to have a pro like Matthew Vaughn behind the camera either.

This movie is set up with the possibility of making it into a series with a couple sequels if they want to.  The movie grossed $279 million worldwide ($128 in the USA) on an $81 million budget so it definitely was able to do well in the box office.  I'm not sure if the next one would be as good without the origin story leading to the climax, but with a bunch of the solid actors in their stable, it definitely has a chance.

The only problem I had with the film was the lisp that Samuel L. Jackson chose to use in his role.  It reminded me of the unnecessary accent that Mos Def went with in the abysmal 16 Blocks. Apparently Jackson had a lisp when he was a kid that he got rid of with practice and hard work when he was trying to be an actor but I don't think it adds anything to the role.  The lisp actually took away from his character a little bit and distracted from a potentially very good villain.

The movie is more original than I thought it had any right to be and impressed me with the story and fight choreography.  I'd recommend that you check it out once it comes on HBO.

Rating: 8.5/10

Side Note:
  • Firth actually did 80% of his own stunts.  At 55, that ain't too bad.