Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice

“The name’s Un­win. Gary Un­win”

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

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.

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