Kingsman: The Secret Service
“The name’s Unwin. Gary Unwin”
Release Date: 8 June
2015 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD/ download Director: Matthew Vaughn Cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson
“It’s Kick- Ass for
spies!” That was the not inaccurate message going into Kingsman: The Secret Service. That film’s creative team of Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Mark Millar are all in place, as is the gleefully anarchic spirit. But Kingsman also shares its predecessor’s secret strength: beneath all the snark, it has heart.
Gary “Eggsy” Unwin ( Taron Egerton) is a bored kid with nothing to do except nick cars. When he finds himself behind bars he calls in a favour from his dead dad’s old comrade, Harry Hart ( Colin Firth). Soon, Eggsy is free and set on a new course in life: training to become a gentleman spy. Meanwhile, billionaire Valentine ( Samuel L Jackson with a lisp and a taste for hip- hop clobber) is making plans for global destruction.
Kingsman doesn’t hide its influences: The Avengers, The Man From UNCLE and, unavoidably, Bond are all in the mix. There’s not a little Harry Potter too – for much of its running time this is a school story about a boy plucked from poverty and given a new destiny. Despite that, Vaughn keeps the action rattling along, investing the training scenes with fatal consequences. The freefall sequence in particular is superbly tense ( and makes up for some bafflingly terrible CG towards the end of the film).
Characterisation is generally strong too. Eggsy is a smartarse, but there’s vulnerability there. Roxy ( Sophie Cookson) is the more capable spy kid – and played neither for laughs or innuendo. It’s a shame, then, that the film’s final gag is so ill- judged. It aims to be a deliberately crass spin on the typical “Attempting re- entry!” Bond coda, but just comes off as old- school sexist.
Still, for the most part Kingsman is pure fun. And with its church fight sequence, it delivers the most gleefully enjoyable on- screen depiction of ultraviolence since The Matrix. Mission accomplished, Eggsy.
Six- part Making Of “Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed” ( 88 minutes) looks at the story’s transition from the comic to the big screen and examines the characters, weapons and style. There’s also some behind- thescenes photo galleries to gawp at. Will Salmon In Millar’s original comic, Dr Arnold ( Mark Hamill in the movie) is the main villain of the piece.
A relaxed attitude to traincatching is admirable.