Based on The Secret Service (Comics) by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar
Screenplay: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Directed by: Matthew Vaugh
Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson
Most of the times you could almost hazard a guess from the trailer just how awesome (or dull) a movie is going to be.
I predicted Kingsman: The Secret Service to be a no-nonsense entertainer that would give me a good value for money.
Turns out, Kingsman is one of those movies that even surpasses your wildest expectations. (And I definitely got more than just the value for money!)
It was an entertainer, all right — but not just a clueless, bang-bang flick. It was an amalgam of a great story, a unique execution, and a genuine tension builder, that keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way.
Synopsis (Very tentative, no spoilers!)
Kingsman, an International super-secret service just has a hit on the disappearance of VIPs from different countries across the globe.
In a solo mission to save one of such VIP, Lancelot, one of Kingsman’s top spies, dies in the line of duty.
The secret service now must quickly replace him.
This replacement is assigned through a contest between few young boys and girls, chosen by various senior spies that includes (code names): Arthur (Michael Caine), Galahad (Collin Firth), and Merlin (Mark Strong). The winner of the contest becomes the next Lancelot.
Enters Eggsy (Taron Egerton), an everyday Brit street kid, who is full of potential. He is chosen for the contest by Galahad, who also becomes his godfather to repay an old debt he owed the boy’s father.
Now, as a global terror lurks in the form of Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a tech genius looking to “save” the planet, the young man Eggsy must struggle to prove his worth to his mentor, to the Kingsman, and most importantly, to himself.
“It’s not that kind of spy movie.”
It’s a famous line in the movie, that comes up quite often. And, ironically, it stands to be true.
Think of irreverent movies. Think of Quentin Tarantino. Think of Kick-ass (also by Matthew Vaughn).
Kingsman is in the same line. Yes, including the violence. (Awesome violence, I might add. Shhh!)
Matthew Vaughn, after establishing his impertinent mark with Kick-ass, has now taken on the realm of spies. And he does it ever so brilliantly.
The movie has all the gadgets and the techs one would expect (poison-point pens, shoes with knife, grenade-lighters, bulletproof umbrella… you name it), and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. For me, that was the best part about this movie. Ever the funny, it builds with great pace and takes the audience into the world of gentlemen spies, who are the “new knights with suits as their present day armor.”
The plot is good and story even better. The conflict is genuine and gets you hooked from the first few scenes itself. Of course, that is only true if you can digest a little violence… like, say, someone being vertically sliced into two?
If a global-warming frenzied psycho trying to save the planet by wiping out the population isn’t enough conflict for you, the movie also has a young street kid having to prove his worth. Then you have the mentor (Galahad) himself trying to right few mistakes of the past.
The brilliance of Samuel L. Jackson cannot be praised enough. As Richmond Valentine, he portrays a superfreak villain, who keeps us smirking with his dialogs and then scares the shit out of us with his actions. Keeping a fine balance between comedy and terror, Jackson shows us exactly why he’s so much in demand these days.
Collin Firth is equally exceptional in his role as Galahad. In retrospect, it’s hard to imagine anyone more apt for this role. He has taken on from his subtle and classy performance in The King’s Speech and added a lot more style and action to it.
Taron Egerton is a surprise package in this movie. He is excellent in delivering the emotion that his role requires, and when he puts on the suit, he does seem a little Bond-ish. He looks more than believable… he is perfect as Eggsy.
All in all
Kingsman is an all-round entertainer. From action scenes to stunning visual effects, acting mastery to well-developed characters, great storytelling to a well-balanced pacing, from belly-tickling humor to jaw-dropping tension… the movie, like a real good spy, has successfully got all its grounds covered.