Film plays for cheap laughs
MIKE Myers poked plenty of fun at the sleazy James Bond cliches with his overly hairy Austin Powers series (yeah baby!) but with the gritty reboot of James Bond in recent years, the longrunning franchise was ripe for re-spoofing.
A cheeky violent streak runs throughout Kingsman: The Secret Service, turning the idea of the gentlemanly spy on its head.
London misfit Gary ' Eggsy' Unwin (Taron Egerton), who lives in the slums with his mother and abusive step-dad, learns his late biological father had a secret identity – he was a Kingsman, a deadly secret service agent.
Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is an agent of the English upper-middle-class mould who recruits Eggsy, putting him through rigorous training with a group of others and effecting a MyFairLady style transformation in him, from hoodlum to refined man.
The joke is thin but director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn gets serious mileage out of it.
One of the many highlights is watching Firth one minute behave once again like Mr Darcy, then the next slice and dice the enemy with aplomb.
Vaughn takes the audacious humour a step too far in its final moments with a particularly distasteful gag that threatens to soil the fun that has come before it.
Samuel L. Jackson is a hoot as an evil manchild with plans to drastically reduce the world’s population, but his over-the-top thick lisp is played for the cheapest of laughs.
Vaughn wants his audience to enjoy this, and if you can handle brazen jokes and bloodshed, you will certainly feel you got your money’s worth.
Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Secret Service, opening February 5.