Kingsman: The Secret Service
A spy movie is only as good as the villain...
...And Kingsman: The Secret Service may have the best villain I've seen in an action movie in years. So many villains are often so cliché that you can almost guess their cheesy lines during key scenes, but Kingsman's Valentine was so perfect that he even makes fun of them.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a mature-rated action movie which stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Strong, directed by Matthew Vaughn, and is based off of the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. This spy flick is reminiscent of the classic spy movies where the spies wore sharp suits, could fight out of any situation, and had a special spy-toy for every situation - you know, like the great James Bond movies of the 70s and 80s, only without holding back for a PG-13 rating.
That might be the biggest and most refreshing difference between Kingsman and the other movies. Most movies, like those starring Bond or Borne, often cut all the realistic violence and swearing just to allow a younger crowd, but also removes so much of what makes these types of movies fun. Instead, this movie gives us all the swearing, insane violence, blood, and exploding heads we could want, and then some. We definitely need more movies that aren't afraid to give us the treats we got in Kingsman. Unfortunately, the movies that do often lack the story and characters needed to make them enjoyable.
This story follows Colin Firth's Harry Hart and his protégé Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin, played by Taron Egerton as they uncover the evil Valentine's sinister plot, who is played by the always awesome Samuel L. Jackson. I don't want to spoil the story but lets just say that the plot is so bat-shit crazy that it's almost believable. Most others try to make the story so realistic that it becomes boring and repetitive, but there is nothing boring about Kingsman's plot. From the opening scene to the closing credits the pace is so fast that there is very little time to be bored.
But that doesn't mean they skipped over the character building. Between the gunfire, explosions, brawls and insane stunts, Kingsman: The Secret Service gives us enough time to get to know the important players in the story so that when they are in mortal danger you really care if they live or die. It isn't perfect, especially when we are to believe a certain pair were falling in love, but do we really need to add a believable romance in a movie such as this?
Not everything is serious, though. The comedy that fills in the gaps between the action was fantastic. So many action movies rely on cheap on-liners, but... Okay, Kingsman does to, but it also adds in a deeper, and more complex humour that is often skipped over.
Kingsman: The Secret Service wasn't a cheaply made movie, too. The special effects were truly special, especially during the "fireworks" and the up close and personal deaths. Some effects aren't realistic, but the inaccuracies actually made them even more enjoyable than they would have been otherwise. It definitely proved that unrealistic is more fun than the "real" looking animations that have been filling our screens over the past several years.
There is one problem that hurt this movie, though - the really choppy action scenes. If you read my review of Birdman, you how much I prefer continuous shots compared to the constantly changing camera angles we normally get. Kingsman: The Secret Service sadly doesn't even try to even out the shots to make them seamless. This isn't a huge deal during dialogue, but the action scenes flip camera angles so frequently, sometimes in less than a second or two of footage, that it's easy to get lost in the action. The church scene was especially difficult to watch. I know they had to cut out the stunt doubles, but our current technology is more than capable of replacing faces so the camera doesn't need to cut to the actors face so frequently. I hope the sequel, which I'm assuming will be made at this point, will work a bit harder with a larger budget to fix the choppy cinematography.
Even with the nausea-inducing camera changes (they aren't really that bad) this is still a fantastic, must-watch film. I normally don't watch movies in theatres, but even I found myself compelled to watch Kingsman: The Secret Service during its theatrical release and I would recommend you to do the same. This is a fantastic movie that almost all adults will enjoy. If you don't catch it in theatres, this is certainly one of those must buy movies when it comes out on Bluray and digital download.
Yeah, I obviously loved this movie, but how about you? Sound off in the comment section below.