‘Kingman: The Secret Service’
Written by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Caine
Story: An underground British spy organization recruits a young rough around the edges Londoner as their new agent.
When you review a film, you really have to think about who has made it and what they might be trying to say. With Kingsman, the truth is, this is a film by Matthew Vaughn. For any of us who have seen Kick-Ass or Layer Cake then maybe we should know what to expect: something gory, in your face, and hilarious. Vaughn like to have fun and makes no excuses for that.
Unfortunately, Kingsman falls slightly short of his other feats and something feels somewhat amiss.
Gory violence does not make a bad movie, and in fact it is frequently done quite well. Think of Kick-Ass, Machete, Kill Bill, or Zombieland: all great movies and extremely funny but with enough graphic violence to make you squirm in your seat. Kingman attempts this and you know, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. It is certainly not a reason to hate the film and it doesn’t take away from it. The real reason Kingsman is disappointing is because most of the jokes fall flat. This kind of violence should be accompanied by real, dark humour but we just don’t get it here.
There are some funny moments. Egerton does a fantastic job of playing the clueless young thug who is drawn into a world that he has only ever imagined. He has great ying&yang chemistry with Colin Firth who honestly seems to be doing the best with that he is given, but ends up seeming to be trying a little too hard to be dry. Samuel L Jackson is the real let down here: he is supposed to be the comic force in the film but it is far too obvious. Most of his jokes lack any sort of comedic timing and understanding, and just feel like they are lines read from a script (which they probably are). Comedy in this form, in this type of movie, is paramount. Kingsman tries very hard to bring it, but for some reason falls short.
That is not to say that it isn’t enjoyable. As an action movie it does the trick and provides and interesting enough storyline to keep us entertained. You can actually have a nice escape into action movie land for about two hours as long as you are not expecting a film along the same vein as Pulp Fiction or Get Smart.
Kingsman is fine. You won’t regret watching it, but it won’t go down in history as a great action comedy either