Kingsman: The Secret Service

Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(25user reviews)
Kingsman: The Secret Service

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…

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Release details

Release date:
Thursday January 29 2015
Duration:
129 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriter:
Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman
Cast:
Samuel L. Jackson
Colin Firth
Michael Caine
Mark Strong
Taron Egerton

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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1 of 1 found helpful

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.

tastemaker

The sequel to Kingsman, The Golden Circle may not be a good as the original but it's still enjoyable.  If you're looking for some light-hearted fluff then this is definitely something to keep you entertained.  There are few flaws with the film including bringing back Colin Firth and the Elton John joke gets a little bit tiring.


If you're willing to go with it then you will find it fun and the time will pass away.  I'll be interested to see how the next one turns out.

tastemaker

Kingsman has returned in the second sequel The Golden Circle. An independent intelligence agency Kingsman faces a new challenge -none less but to keep word safe. Their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage by a wicked drugs baroness Poppy, brilliantly played by Julianne Moore. It’s gross and hilarious how violent she is when standing behind the counter dressed all proper in pink and wearing an apron when shredding humans in her burger-mincing machine. Kingsmans are allied with the spy organisation in the US called Statesman, brilliant twist! Oh yes, Elton John is hilarious! Excellent movie, lots of laugh throughout but I wouldn’t say that it was as good as the first one. 

Tastemaker

One of my favourite films of all time It deserves an Oscar! Everyone in it is fantastic, there are SO MANY memorable scenes, and I've seen it 4 or 5 times, and it never gets old!

Tastemaker

This movie is not meant to be taken seriously and is pure escapism. It is funny and very British. I liked it but I did not love it either. Good thing to watch if you spend you sense of reality and switch of your bread. 

Tastemaker

This adolescent pastiche of Bond movies is actually widely enjoyable and surprisingly entertaining.


Sure it’s uneven in places, but its utterly preposterous plot will hook you in. Between a bunch of tailors saving the world, a bad-ass baddie with blades for legs and inflatable balloons as a mean to reach outer-space, there are quite a few totally absurd moments (Let’s not forget the dinner-meet between the hero and his nemesis is done over Big Macs and fries). But this is precisely those moments that absolutely make the movie. Because they make the film so much more fun, it feels more alive and interesting that most action films nowadays. The ultra-violent bits are even, dare I say, almost exhilarating. This is the fun that has been missing in most ‘taking itself too seriously’ action movies.

Staff Writer

There seems to be a run on the tongue-in-cheek, espionage-themed action films recently. Of all of them, Kingsman definitely has the edge. Comically entertaining, with sublimely cringe-worthy stereotyped criminals and of course the good guys. Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Firth mix it up beautifully, in this very British, far-fetched and incredibly entertaining spy romp. Definitely watch this one, you won't be disappointed.


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.

Staff Writer

Absolutly brilliant i'd even go as far to say it was better than the book! a must see for all.


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.

"title"


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!


Loved it!

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.
Great casting!


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.