On Friday night, I went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service on the strength of the trailer's humorous tidbits and – well, Colin Firth. I was not disappointed. I knew immediately when the music started that I was about to stand witness to awesomeness.
I've been a Dire Straits fan probably since infancy because of a thoroughly retro upbringing but never before had the opening strains of “Money For Nothing” been quite so epic; it accompanied explosive introductive credits as the camera panned in. “Money For Nothing” and its working-class voice is the perfect song to encapsulate main character Eggsy's background.
Growing up in government housing with his downtrodden mother, Eggsy (played by up-and-comer Taron Egerton) looks set for the slammer after a jaunt in a stolen car, until a gentleman in a bespoke suit arrives to show him a different path. Harry Hart (delightfully performed by suave Colin Firth) works for an independent spy agency under the codename "Galahad" and, lucky for Eggsy, an agent called "Lancelot" recently got cut down to size (literally – by a villainess sporting Blade Runner legs), leaving an empty space in the agency.
Eggsy must undergo tests to prove his worth against snobby rich kids who turn up their noses at Eggsy's name and background. The film earns “awww” points for introducing an adorable pug as Eggsy's training buddy.
Meanwhile, Harry and the Kingsmen are trying to work out who killed Galahad and just what lisping billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson hams it up brilliantly in this role) is up to with his free SIM cards and free Internet for everyone. In his quest, Harry aka Galahad is superbly outfitted with an arsenal to make Q jealous – inclusive of a bullet-repelling umbrella and undeniable charm.
Kingsman is the best spy film spoof in ages. The greatest spoofs can stand their own two (bladed) legs and the film delivers with an enjoyable plot. Characters make jokes about spy movie cliches but the humour keeps coming in other forms. Absurd violence, stylishly shot, is peppered throughout, most noticeably in a church massacre worthy of TV series Supernatural – and gosh that scene feels almost like wish fulfilment, given that the victims are a homophobic hate group. Was the cinema laughing because we were amused or because we were uncomfortable with our amusement of it?
And let's not forget the pug. Pugs always make a movie more awesome.
It's worth noting that in Kingsman there's a “countdown to V-Day”. Forget a movie based on a Twilight fanfiction – Kingsman: The Secret Service is the fun Valentine's Day movie you want to share with someone. Unapologetic uses of explosions, violence, laughter and well-known actors (spot Luke Skywalker if you can!) abound.
A solid 8/10 and a definite addition to my blu-ray collection.
Alyce Caswell is an aspiring writer who apparently lost her mind, threw away a steady job as an office junior and entered the realm of imagination.
She has blamed her accomplice and husband for giving her this most excellent opportunity.
Alyce has written articles, poems, short stories, books
and several embarrassing blogs. She hopes this venture will avoid the usage of cat gifs.
Links of Interest
A Rambling Rover
Alyce's travel blog which features various castles, stone circles and bemused musings about the Northern Hemisphere.