I saw this one quite early in the year, when it came out, to be exact. I went in not really knowing what Kingsman was except for that it had spies in it. As I sat down, I was expecting an action film that was quite serious but then Money For Nothing kicked off and Colin Firth started swearing and there were terrorists and interrogations and helicopters and guns and sand and stuff, this was all packed into the opening scene. It was then when I knew that I was in for quite a treat.
The scene that follows was even better, taking place in some sort of mountain lair, where a scientist, played by Mark Hamil, is being held by some cultured thugs. Then, a knock on the door and a gentleman spy with some mad skills reks them in an over-the-top-violent manner. Some other, spoiler-worthy things happen that I won’t mention and we are introduced to our villain, Samuel L Jackson, a megalomaniac with “no stomach for violence” doing his best Mike Tyson impression. Now, I know that this isn’t as serious as I thought. After that, it just got better and better.
Sorry, I got myself caught up in my own introduction. Those were in fact the first two scenes of this film and they got the tone just right for me. As I previously mentioned, I didn’t know anything about this film before watching it and, after watching those two scenes, I was educated very efficiently about this film, so much so that I could probably give you a mandatory plot summary for you right now. What’s that? You don’t really want one? Tough, Sonny Jim.
Colin Firth, in a role that he shouldn’t really be playing but plays it exceptionally well, plays Harry Hart, a Kingsman agent. What is Kingsman? You may be asking. Kingsman is an agency started by rich people after the war who wanted to make a difference. There are about 20-ish agents and, whenever one dies, their replacement is selected via a selection process in which each remaining agent chooses a candidate who must take part in a series of tasks until there is only one remaining, who will officially become a Kingsman agent. Kingsman specialise in saving the world.
The film centers on Eggsy, the delinquent son of a secret Kingsman agent who died saving Hart. After getting arrested for stealing his mum’s boyfriend’s son’s car and going on a joy ride, Eggsy rings the number on the medal that Hart gave him as compensation for his loss. After he is mysteriously released, he meets Hart. After witnessing Hart kick some ass, Eggsy returns home to find his mum’s boyfriend threatening him with a knife. Little did he know, Hart planted a device on Eggsy that meant he knew what his mum’s boyfriend had done. Hart ordered Eggsy’s mum’s boyfriend, who I’m going to call Dean from now on because writing “Eggsy’s mum’s boyfriend” is effort, to let Eggsy leave. As Eggsy again meets Hart, Hart proposes he become a Kingsman agent, taking part in the selection process. Meanwhile, SLJ is up to no good.
I could’ve specified what SLJ’s been up to but that would take away the surprise! I also can’t be assed, but don’t let that deter you.
Now that plot is lovingly completed, we can talk about the more interesting subjects, like action, oh yes.
This film deserves to call itself an action-comedy because the action in this action-comedy is awe-inspiring. It seems as if every other scene has some sort of dismemberment in it. Visually, Kingsman is stunning, especially in these action sequences. There is no limit to the blood that director Matthew Vaughn can bring to your face, with fingers being blown off at some points and large wooden spikes being shoved up a racist, homophobic reverend at others. Paired with this like fine wine, the soundtrack to these sequences feel like a coked up serial killers Thursday playlist, that is not a bad thing.
As previously mentioned, Colin Firth wasn’t exactly “born” to play Harry Hart, as it contrasts with virtually every other role he has played. It could seem as if Firth isn’t really cut out to be an action star, and if you think that, Colin Firth will probably come to your house and kill you stylishly with your own household objects, probably involving some sort of laceration or dismemberment, because you would be wrong. As well as mastering the tried and true sophisticated act he’s known for, Firth also brings an aura of sophistication when he burning people’s faces and smashing glasses also into faces. Let’s just say, if you are a bad guy in Kingsman, your face is not safe from something Colin Firth will dish out, take that in the most innocent way you can, please.
Moreover, Taron Egerton also stands out as Eggsy. Where Firth brings the action, Egerton brings the comedy with his dumbfounded new view of all of the action that is suddenly happening around him. He remains true to his character throughout and has cheeky quips for every situation. Joining him in bringing the comedy, Samuel L. Jackson plays Richmond Valentine, the eccentric villain with a dastardly plan that I’m still not going to tell you about because I JUST cannot be assed, y’know? Please forgive me.
I think that’s it. Time for a summary.
Kingsman is really good. I actually can’t think of a bad word to say about it. For what it is, an action-comedy about spies, there is awesome action, genuinely funny moments and plenty of spy-like things going on. It is the perfect action-comedy.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations