When James Bond first turned towards the gun-barrel in 1962’s ‘Dr.No’, a cinematic industry was born. Spawning mega-fortunes for most concerned, the franchise has lasted decades. No surprise many have tried to emulate its’ success. Some have succeeded, others have failed. Based on a comic book ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ liberally takes cue from 007’s adventures. Smart, clever and resolutely stylish, it is a beguiling wink to Ian Fleming’s enduring creation.
Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is part of a top secret spy organisation. Tasked with recruiting suitable candidates, he meets Gary (Taron Egerton). A tough street kid, Gary’s roughish demeanour hides a calculating mind. Seeing much potential, Harry begins training his new apprentice. This can’t come soon enough when evil billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) threatens the world order. Quickly learning the ways of espionage, Gary sets his sights in becoming an agent worthy of valour.
Having directed the first ‘Kick-Ass’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’, Matthew Vaughn is an expert at comic-book movies. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ cements his fine reputation. Fully embracing the outlandish story’s possibilities, he revels in the absurd situations and crisply written dialogue. There’s a confident swagger about the script without being too clever. He is ably assisted by the actors who throw themselves into this outrageous scenario with gusto.
‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ doesn’t take itself too seriously and nor does it attempt to be a ‘worthy film’. It is a straight-up thrill ride of brilliantly staged action scenes with easily identifiable characters. The cinematography is a major plus with each scene shown in broad comic-book strokes full of colourful vitality. Fans of Bond, Bourne and other spies will receive a kick out of the small nods to other thriller films while it delivers its own brand of secret agent hijinks.
After a slew of similar genre films not cutting the mustard, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ delivers the goods. Fun, vibrant and exciting, hopefully others will take a leaf out of its book by remembering to add some lush colours to the usual formula.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 9
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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