From the desk of Agent Winchester…
I love Kingsman: The Secret Service a lot. According to the Panel to Screen extra on the Blu-ray, the movie is a “postmodern love letter to spy movies.” Director Matthew Vaughn felt that spy movies have become too serious and no longer fun, and this movie is the result. Hollywood talent agrees as well. Keep in mind the A-list actors who are in this: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, and Mark Hamill.
The sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is arguably more packed with stars; adding newcomers Taron Egerton and Sofia Boutella and usual bad guy Mark Strong, and you have a rock-solid cast that should make you interested in the film without knowing a single plot detail.
Here is a spoiler-free recap of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Billionaire tech genius, Richmond Valentine (Jackson), is a climate change proponent. He and his lethal double-amputee right hand ma’am, Gazelle (Boutella) pursue an extreme plot to reduce stress on the planet. In the meantime, the espionage agency Kingsman are in the process of replacing a murdered spy.
The Kingsman are modeled after the Knights of the Round Table (even if they sit at a rectangular one in the movie). Harry Hart’s (Firth) recruit, Eggsy (Egerton), needs to make a Pygmalion-like (and yes, I read the book) transformation from a punk to gentleman spy in a short amount of time. But will his past as a street thief help or hurt him as he pursues replacing Lancelot and save the day?
Naturally, this film has its share of detractors. They may have enjoyed the movie, but CinemaSins tallied 95 movie sins. Brendan Cassidy from the InSession Film podcast took his hatred for the film very personally on his Kingsman: The Golden Circle show:
“I pretty much loathe the first film now. The first film is one I find so offensive, mean spirited, it’s a very ugly film for me personally. And it just has an attitude that feels like it’s celebrating its narcissism which makes it feel that much more misjudged to me. It offended me.”
Kyle Smith from the New York Post wrote, Kingsman “is a mad clutter of ‘Austin Powers’-style parody, campy comedy and gory action. It’s like a salad composed of lettuce, tomatoes, butterscotch pudding, raw liver and motor oil.” I am a big fan of polarizing movies, and I would love the opportunity to discuss Kingsman: The Secret Service with either of them one day.
Meanwhile, here are five reasons you need to check out Kingsman: The Secret Service.
1. The action. Some of the action is a pure adrenaline rush, and the rest is just fun. The movie itself doesn’t take itself very seriously, but the action scenes and fight choreography do. The training scenes are often thrilling, the Black Prince scene has a great fight, and we’ll save the church scene for its own bullet point. This movie is beginning to end action, and you will come back for more after enjoying it the first time.
2. Eggsy is a great character. Eggsy is a clever mix of Aladdin and James Bond. He learns that he is a Kingsman legacy, and he must convince himself that he has what it takes to be the next one. Will he push past his street punk persona and rise to the occasion to be the next Lancelot? You may be surprised at the answer. I know it’s a cliché to say that only Egerton could play the part, but it’s 100% how I feel. Watching his transformation from petty thief to gentleman spy candidate is great fun.
3. Colin Firth makes the Bond franchise sorry it never considered him. Firth hasn’t been in a single frame of a Bond film, and I think he’s the best Bond. He has heart, grit, and shines in his action sequences. After seeing the movie, you will want to apply “Manners. Maketh. Men” anytime you’re in a room full of assholes. Does he come out of the movie unscathed like Bond does? How are his puns? You’ll have to find out.
4. My Westboro Baptist fantasy. If you refuse to see the movie, this scene is worth the YouTube visit. In the effort to be as spoiler-free as possible, I’ll leave the rest of my two cents out. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a great action piece.
5. Gazelle is fierce! Boutella knocks it out of the park as the dangerous double-amputee. Her fights are frenetic and balletic at the same time. She is a worthy adversary to the Kingsman and an absolute joy to watch. Gazelle is the most dangerous woman in the world with a pair of leg-swords.
If you want a break from the ultra-serious spy and action movies of today, then Kingsman: The Secret Service is for you. This movie is great fun, and you will love both the good guys and villains. The action is strong, and you will see plenty of it. The King Arthur story elements are great as well. If you choose to research the characters, you will see accurate comparisons. I hope this is enough for you to check it out. Enjoy if you do!
If you have an opinion on Kingsman: The Secret Service, please comment on Twitter (@agentwinchestr or @agentpalmer) or join the comments below.
Agent Winchester (@AgentWinchestr) is a movie and TV geek, husband, father, and former movie theater and video store employee. I want to be Hollywood’s Vice President of common sense and bridge what projects we want as fans to help them make even larger gobs of money.
Read the Secret File of technical information and quotes from Kingsman: The Secret Service.