Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice

The King’s Peach

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Cinema -

Re­lease Date: 29 Jan­uary

15 | 123 min­utes Direc­tor: Matthew Vaughn Cast: Colin Firth, Sa­muel L Jack­son, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Taron Eger­ton, Sofia Boutella

Matthew Vaughn’s third

comic adap­ta­tion in a row re­turns him to the cre­ator of his first, Mark Mil­lar. While Kick- Ass riffed on su­per­heroes, Kings­man takes on the su­per­spy. In­spired by old- school Bond, there’s a yearn­ing here for the days be­fore 007 got all se­ri­ous.

The story re­volves around elite es­pi­onage team Kings­man. Our guide is Harry Hart ( Colin Firth), but he’s not our main man; that’s teenage tear­away Gary “Eg­gsy” Un­win ( Taron Eger­ton), the son of a fel­low agent, who died due to a mis­take Harry made. Raised on an es­tate by his mum, he’s head­ing for re­form school. But Harry’s kept an eye on him, even giv­ing him a num­ber to ring when in trou­ble. Af­ter a spell in cus­tody, Eg­gsy fi­nally di­als the dig­its.

And so Harry takes Eg­gsy un­der his wing. Watch­ing the plummy Harry tu­tor the hoodie- wear­ing Eg­gsy is a de­light: think My Fair Lady meets Moon­raker. With the agency a man down af­ter an agent’s killed, Eg­gsy is put for­ward for in­ten­sive train­ing.

Like Mil­lar’s orig­i­nal, Kings­man is de­fi­antly self- aware – although Vaughn tones it down. While Mil­lar’s story saw celebri­ties kid­napped, open­ing with Mark Hamill plung­ing to his death, Vaughn ditches the fa­mous faces, although he nods to it, with Hamill cast as a bof­fin snatched by biotech pi­o­neer Valen­tine ( Sa­muel L Jack­son). Jack­son’s lisp­ing bad­die is good value, even if he’s not quite on the Blofeld level. But it’s Harry’s re­la­tion­ship with Eg­gsy that draws you in. The plot is a bit daft, and when that takes over Kings­man be­gins to lose its lus­tre. As good as Eger­ton is, he’s not quite able to sus­tain our in­ter­est for two hours.

Vaughn, how­ever, has hit on a great twist on the ac­tion flick – a pinch of Lock, Stock cheek­i­ness with a dash of ’ 80s retro. It’s not per­fect, but there’s enough to keep the blood pump­ing. James Mottram As he’s a well- spo­ken lad, to pre­pare for his role Eger­ton watched movies like Harry Brown and Ill Manors.

Dolce & Gab­bana’s new col­lec­tion was noth­ing if not eclec­tic.

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