MOVIE REVIEW: Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Review by Dustin Heller

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a new action comedy from writer and director Matthew Vaughn.  Vaughn has quite the resume for cool British films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Layer Cake.  He also wrote and directed the cult hit Kick-Ass and the blockbuster X-Men: First Class.

Kingsman is based on the comic book The Secret Service from creators Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.  The movie boasts an A-list cast with Colin FirthSamuel L. JacksonMark StrongTaron Egerton, and Michael Caine.

The movie follows gentleman spy Harry Hart (Firth), an agent for the super-secret spy organization known as Kingsman.  The organization has recently lost one of its top agents and, therefore, brings in a group of new recruits to fill the empty spot.  Harry’s choice is “Eggsy” (Egerton), the son of a former agent that once saved his life in the Middle East.  Eggsy isn’t quite as refined as the other candidates, but he has street smarts and a big chip on his shoulder.

At the same time as the candidates are going through their training, technology billionaire Richard Valentine (Jackson) is concocting a plan to rid the earth of the lower-class civilians by hypnotizing them through the waves of a free SIM card that he issued to everyone.  Once the card is activated, the civilians will turn on each other with no inhibitions.  It will be up to the Kingsman, with the help of these new recruits, to save the world all while keeping a low profile.

I’m afraid Kingsman might be a little too cool for its own good.  The movie feels like its geared towards young teenage boys that sit around and play video games all day, but strangely received an R rating.  Actually, a good deal of the movie feels more like a video game than a feature film.  I’m not sure how it will play with adults, but I found myself pretty annoyed through most of it.  It is overly stylized with some over-the-top camera movements and cartoonish effects.

There are certainly some entertaining aspects to the movie (namely the soundtrack), but the material is good enough to have made a much better completed product.  Another issue I had was that the big fight scenes were way too long and drawn out which, in turn, made them ineffective.  I would consider myself a big fan of Matthew Vaughn, and the cast for this movie is excellent, but overall, Kingsman just didn’t work for me.

I do think this movie will find an audience, but not one that I am a part of.

Grade:  C-

Kingsman: The Secret Service opens on Friday, February 13

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