From the director of Stardust, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, comes Kingsman: The Secret Service – an unabashedly fun (and it really is) tribute to the spy movies of yesteryear, particularly the early era Bond films (Connery, Moore). For those tired of the ‘gritty, realistic’ spy movie, Kingsman marks a return to the over-the-top shenanigans of superspies that seems to have been lost in the new millennium.
Simultaneously tributing and subverting those classic films, Kingsman features Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as a well-tailored, gentleman spy codenamed Galahad investigating Valentine (Samuel L Jackson), a tech guru and environmentalist afraid of violence. Jackson plays Valentine with a lisp, stealing the show every time that he opens his mouth to speak – he’s absolutely hilarious.
To combat Valentine, and fill a new opening in the clandestine Kingsman organisation, Galahad recruits young Garry ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton), who brings a modern spin to the classic spy. Galahad and Eggsy’s adventures are peppered by a great supporting cast: Jack Davenport, Michael Caine, Mark Hamill and Mark Strong. The action is clearly framed, fast and violent, earning its MA15+ rating, and complemented by a preposterous plot populated by winking references to the ‘JBs’ – James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer.
If you’re looking for a fun, over-the-top spy movie with great action and good humour, rather than a ‘serious’ thriller, then Kingsman is for you. It’s a movie made by fans of the genre, for fans of the genre. Kingsman: The Secret Service is one of the surprise hits of the year so far, being pure escapist fun – highly recommended.