I treated myself to a movie the other night and decided on Kingsman; The Secret Service, and I have to admit, was thoroughly entertained despite the f-word being thrown about with wild abandon and stylized brawling and killing the order of the day. But the f-word got so lost in British accents that it was sort of lost in the shuffle and the battles were so choreographed and smartly fought that the effect really was an homage to 007. I make no apology-it really was fun, and I walked out with a smile on my face.
I didn’t know going in that the movie is based on a Marvel comic of the same name. I learned that when I checked out a couple of movie reviews to see if anyone else agreed with me that the movie was fun and entertaining, which they did, and I also found out that the Bond allusions were there by design. Those playful references also set the tone of the movie and are responsible for making the action so entertaining. The main players are all British and very formal with their dress and manners like 007, there is no Q tutoring Eggsy, the 007 counterpart, on his new gadgets, but gadgets are plentiful and Colin Firth fills in for M, more or less, as Harry Hart who sees potential in Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, and grooms him to be a spy. World-class villains are a Bond staple, and Samuel L. Jackson becomes Richard Valentine, a concerned American millionaire with a tech-heavy diabolical scheme to save the world from global warming and too many carbon footprints. He is a fun villain, too, with a few quirks of his own; he also serves a surprising meal to Harry Hart as the plot thickens. Bond villains always seem to have an interesting second-in-command, and here that sidekick is Gazelle, played by Sofia Boutella, outfitted with two prosthetic legs that she uses as extremely efficient weapons, an Odd Job without the hat. Michael Caine, whom I always enjoy, plays a critical role in this story, as do a batch of puppies, but I will let you discover their roles for yourself.
The sets are high-tech and lavish, the gadgets are plentiful: bullet-proof umbrellas, surprise hand grenades, hidden poisons, all kinds of computer programs, trick eye glasses, to name a few. Drinks are mixed to specifications, typical funny one-liners are sprinkled throughout, one or two of them ending with surprise responses, and Eggsy gets the girl, just like James always does, but perhaps a bit more graphically than seen in the Bond movies. And while that is one part I could have done without, I can’t fault the whole movie for that one lack of discretion.
And I still left with a smile on my face! This well-made spy thriller has much more humor and clever plot in it than many of the movies coming out now. It is a movie you don’t have to take seriously,don’t have to laugh at really crude and unfunny jokes, don’t have to critique the theme or plot, don’t have to cry over anyone’s death, and don’t have to figure out characters’ motives to enjoy
But don’t take the kids.
You’ll have a good time, even if you go by yourself and don’t buy popcorn. I did.