Do you pine for the days of the classic spy movie, for the suave Bond who dispatched enemies with grace and a witty aside? Or the megalomaniac villains with their jaw dropping bases carved out of the hearts of mountains and their singular vision of world dominance and destruction? Do you miss the sophisticated gadgets, the bullet proof umbrellas or the poisonous ink and yearn for the femme fatale with their killer smiles and razor blade feet? Then Kingsman is the film for you.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson, Kingsman is adapted from Mark Millar’s and Dave Gibbons’ comic book of the same name and whilst I enjoyed the book the film is far superior.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot as I think this is a film that you all should see. It’s visceral, sharp, clever and just the right side of bloody: exploding heads anyone? Elements of the book have been tinkered with slightly, but these only add to the drama and a female Gazelle -played by the stunning Sofia Boutella- is far more graceful than the original black man in the comic book. Samuel L. Jackson is sublime as the lisping genius Valentine, a man who’s mission is to save the planet by killing most of its inhabitants. Firth is gloriously assured as the arse kicking Galahad -a member of the secret Kingsman organisation that spies on the spies bringing impartial justice to the world- and I can only imagine the Bond producers punching themselves repeatedly in the nuts having overlooked him for that role.
I wanted to take my son to see this, but he was less than enthusiastic at the time and I missed it at the cinema. I wont be making that mistake again, it really shouldn’t take sitting through Jurassic World to realise that a twelve-year-old is not the best judge when it comes to film, this is the lad who raved about After Earth and that was less interesting than watching flies crawl over dog shit.
There’s a lot of humour and warmth in this film and fun, tons of fun. It’s not a high-brow soul beater, far from it, but it’s everything a movie should be -I love films that make me think, but this is not a film, it’s a movie, there is a difference. I’d be interested to know how it did in the States as it’s a very British film with run down boozers and Millwall scarves. Matthew Vaughn has said that it’s his hymnal to the stuff he watched growing up: Bond, The Avengers, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. etc. and the inclusion of the umbrella had me pining for the days of Steed and Emma Peel.
The original idea was that this first film would be the start of a trilogy and I can only hope that that happens and that the writing and directing stays as razor-sharp as this. Mark Strong, who plays Merlin -Kingsman’s answer to Bond’s Q- has said that, “This [movie] will be to Bond what Kick-Ass (2010) is to superhero movies” and I can’t help but agree with him.
Check it out and let me know what you think and see if you can spot Mark Hamill.