Pastiching James Bond is hardly a new idea (see Woody Allen in the 1967 ‘Casino Royale’, not to mention the entire ‘Austin Powers’ franchise), but that hasn’t stopped writer-director Matthew Vaughn from trying his hand at a little counter-espionage with this full-throttle action comedy.
Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, one of an elite band of impeccably dressed crimefighters aligned with no specific government but steeped in old money and aristocratic privilege. When one of their number pops his clogs unexpectedly, Harry tries to fulfil an old promise by bringing latchkey bruiser Eggsy (Taron Egerton) into the Kingsman fold, with explosive consequences.
Never less than slick, precision-tooled multiplex entertainment, ‘Kingsman’ hews close to the formula Vaughn and his co-writer Jane Goldman established in their superficially similar ‘Kick-Ass’: hyperspeed action, pithy one-liners and grotesque ultraviolence. Firth plays it straight up with a smirky twist, Egerton is a likeable frontman and there are winning cameos from Michael Caine as a shifty bureau chief and Mark Hamill as – get this – a fusty British science professor.
But like ‘Kick-Ass’, ‘Kingsman’ can leave a sour taste. The script has a penchant for nasty, lad’s-mag humour, while attempts to play on timely themes of privilege versus poverty fall flat thanks to a crass, reactionary depiction of working-class life. If all you’re after are sharp suits, quickfire gags and spectacular kill-shots (one unforgettable sequence is destined to go down in exploding-head history), ‘Kingsman’ is undoubtedly worth the ticket price. Just try not to think too much…
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:10
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
Life's a riot with spy versus spy! Kingsman: The Secret Service is completely bonkers and cracking entertainment. Matthew Vaughn throws every cliche into the mix but still manages to give the audience a film that feels fresh, vibrant and alive. Like 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' in the late 90s, Kingsman celebrates and glories in how downright cool it can be to be English.
Let's be brutally honest, the TV over the Christmas period was dire. Of all of the repeats, millions of showings of old repeats and the rolling out all the usual annual repeats, this was the one film that I enjoyed and entertained me without putting me to sleep on my sofa. Samuel L Jacksons' lisp was the icing on top of this very well served cake and a personal highlight for me throughout. Thank you Kingsman, for saving Christmas!
Great fun! Haven't enjoyed a Bond film since Goldeneye, I guess because what I want in a 'spy' film is stupid fun - this film delivers what I've been looking for, kind of a half way house between the early bond films and the stupidity and cartoonishness of the Austin Power films. See it!
This film is a complete waste of your money and your time. Do not bother going to see it. What were Colin Firth and Michael Caine thinking when they agreed to appear in this pile of tripe? The James Bond genre has already been sent up many times in the past, in films that have done it far better than this one. The violence is extreme and especially uncomfortable to watch when people are being burned alive and beheaded in real life. The class cliches are predictable and tedious. The plot is ludicrous. If you want to see a Tarantino movie, stick to the ones he was actually involved with. This one is total rubbish.
Loved this film. It's ridiculous and completely over the top in places but manages to balance itself out with a bit of 'seriousness' too. Fight scenes are enjoyably over the top (not sure how it's a 15 rating) and Samuel L Jackson's lisp is amazing.
As Time Out's Tom Huddleston says, this film kind of works if you don't think. The trouble is, almost every conceivable Secret Service pastiche has been done - The Avengers through to Bond. And unless you've lived under a rock for the last 50 years, with no communication with the outside world, you're sure to recognise most of the scenes. So you're constantly thinking "This bit's just like ...". But over and above thinking how clichéd the various scenes were was the nagging thought "How much was Colin Firth paid to appear in this pile of pap?" Avoid, unless you've lived under a rock for the last 50 years.
What a film. Seriously not serious but with a hint of badness!! Defiantly a must see as long as you don't take yourself too serious. It got a rapturous applause from the floor.
Watched it last night with my Time Out card. Excellent action packed scene at the beginning which gives you an incline of what to expect. This is followed with some really funny comedy. The story, action, comedy and Samuel L Jackson make this movie a must see!
Thought the characters were pitched perfectly, and the level of humour was just right.
Had a really fantastic experience with this movie and will highly recommend.
I enjoyed the film, thought it was funny and appreciated the cheesy-ness of it. Felt like it was a good balance between being a modern action packed film with a fair bit of violence - poking fun at old (incredibly cheesy) spy films but in a way of paying homage to them rather than disrespecting the genre! Thoroughly entertained, Mark Strong was absolutely ace!
Also went to see it last night with my Time Out Card. I thought it was fun and a good watch overall. It's an easy watch, with a lot of action and funny moments throughout too! The main reason I did not give this 4 stars or more is that it was a little too cheesy at times, which did make it a little less believable. I did however enjoy it and was a good, slightly alternative film.
Went to see this last night with the Time Out Card and it was great! It created a really good mixture of emotions without over-egging anything. Definitely a fun film and I'd recommend not thinking too hard about it, just enjoy it. Not sure about the bit at the end though...thought it was a bit much! Oh, and Mark Strong was excellent :)
Really enjoyed this film and so did a packed house at tonight's Time Out Card preview screening. Lots of laughter and the whole audience applauded at the end. A tonic on a wet, windy Tuesday night.