Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Review: Kingsman - The Secret Service

World of Blackout Film Review

Kingsman - The Secret Service Poster

Kingsman - The Secret Service (SPOILER-FREE)
Cert: 15 / 129 mins / Dir. Matthew Vaughn / Trailer
WoB Rating: 7/7

From several very interesting, if oddly non-committal, trailers comes what I can only describe as a grinning fucking powerhouse of a film. The writing team of Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class) bring Kingsman: The Secret Service to our screens, with the charm and ethos of an old-school Bond movie and the language and violence of... well, Kick-Ass.

Spy-flick tropes and tributes are presented, name-checked and given a playful clip round the ear in this tale of a young ne'er do well inducted into a highly secretive intelligence agency just in time to save the world from a technology wielding maniac. As well as the sophisticated British sleekness and massive amounts of gleeful (yet surprisingly dry) violence, the film is above all fun. Ridiculous amounts of fun. It would have been easy to rely on the Austin Powers route for the film's laughs, but thankfully outright-silliness isn't really on the agenda in Kingsman (well, other than the 'rule the world' silliness which is inherent to this sort of thing anyway). The laughs are there, but they're based around the characters themselves, or some good old fashioned swearing. I can honestly say I haven't been this entertained by a movie since Iron Man 3 (or Avengers if IM3 wasn't your bag).

Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Taron Egerton, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson, Mark Strong, Mark Hamill: all outstanding. Michael Caine is Michael Caine, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this instance. Hey, he's good at being Michael Caine.

On the downside (and there's always a downside), Kingsman is about 20 minutes too long overall, and there are one or two of moments of questionable humour which momentarily pulled me out of my reverie*1. That said, I won't go into those points here as I can't dissect them without delving into plot and character developments, and they still don't tarnish what - for me - is an absolute contender for Film Of The Year (yes, another one. Already).

A joyously foul-mouthed triumph of style and adrenaline, Kingsman does for KC and the Sunshine Band what Shaun of the Dead did for Queen.

Manners maketh the man; please do go and see Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
It certainly is.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
It's a buyer; massive re-watch potential, here.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
In the case of Firth and Jackson, it just might.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
*looks over spectacles...*.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
I must admit that in all the excitement I wasn't actually listening out for one.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Kingsman is the only place you're going to find Mark 'Skywalker' Hamill and Sam 'Windu' Jackson bonding over a 1962 scotch whisky this year.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Although The Church Scene wasn't one of them. I don't care what anyone says, I thought that was fucking immense.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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