Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2015.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Boutella, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, Michael Caine and Mark Hamill.
A veteran secret agent takes a young upstart under his wing.
In Matthew Vaughn’s second adaptation of a Mark Millar comic, he has once again succeeded in making an ultra-silly, violent and hugely entertaining film. Starting with the death of his father, we see estate teen Eggsy heading on the wrong path in life until he calls on an old favour from a veteran agent (Firth). What ensues are a range of training montages, fight scenes, tons of laughs and a lisping Samuel L Jackson. It is a film nothing short of perfection.
The success of the film is due to the rapport between the cast and the wonderful direction from Vaughn and script from Jane Goldman. It feels as if the film has breathed into life from the comic book pages just as easily as Kick Ass did back in 2010; only this time it’s the spy thriller getting the treatment. Taking various elements from James Bond, Bourne and The Avengers (1961) it’s a spy thriller that hits all the clichés and inverts them spectacularly. There is no over the top love interest for Eggsy, no real damsel in distress etc. Instead we have all the gadgets imaginable combined with a sidekick assassin with blades for legs, an eccentric billionaire villain in a remote cave lair and more action then you can imagine. With snappy dialogue, hilarious one liners and the cutest pug I’ve seen in a while, it’s laugh a minute from start to finish.
In terms of casting, whoever thought of casting Colin Firth as veteran agent Harry Hart is a pure genius. This is Firth as you’ve never seen him before – he’s smashing in faces with pint glasses, shooting up an entire room along to Freebird – this is not a Colin Firth we’ve seen before and it is sublime to watch. If I had to find a criticism with the film it would be that there isn’t enough Firth in it. Nevertheless he is hilarious as Harry Hart and I hope to see him take on more comedic roles in the future.
Newcomer Taron Egerton is also extremely good as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. Initially starting out as the kind of kid you’d be scared to pass in an alley, he evolves to become an agent of the highest calibre. Egerton does well to bring sympathy to Eggsy and he makes him an easy character to route for. The rest of the supporting cast are terrific as well. Mark Hamill does a great English accent as a bumbling professor, Michael Caine is the “Arthur” of the Kingsman and Samuel L Jackson is on top form. With his hilarious lisp and overt nature he’s the incarnation of every cheesy Bond villain that we’ve seen over the years. His side kick Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) is also phenomenal to watch during her fight scenes. She’s simply majestic.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is hugely entertaining to watch and the site of watching Colin Firth go mental along to Freebird is nothing short of genius.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Helen Murdoch is a freelance writer – Follow me on Twitter