Written By: Mike Agostinelli
Spy movies have gotten a bit too serious these days. While very well done, the recent James Bond films have lost their sense of fun, replacing it with a dark and foreboding feel. Jason Bourne has also done the same. Doom and gloom is the order of the day. Luckily, Kingsman: The Secret Service is here to change all of that.
The story begins when classy British spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) takes a young punk named “Eggsy” (Taron Egerton) under his wing, enlisting him in the Kingsman program. These guys are essentially a group of really classy middle aged British spy dudes, with random young people apparently mixed in. The movie then splits: we follow Eggsy as he endures the rigorous Kingsman training process, and we follow Harry as he attempts to take down a psychotic “evil Steve Jobs” type villain played by Samuel L. Jackson. These plotlines eventually converge in epic ways, with loads of ridiculously staged action set pieces thrown in along the way.
Let me just straight up say: this movie is awesome. It’s balls to the wall, no holds barred crazy in every way possible. The violence is dialed up to 100, but not in a way that’s disturbing. People get split in half, heads explode, arms and legs are cut off, and characters get impaled with every possible household object. But this is all done in such a cartoonish, over the top way that it fails to be anything other than hilarious. It also isn’t afraid to have fun in the spy world either, with gadgets and poison darts all on display. This is like if a Bond movie from the sixties was made today, and its done with such love and admiration for the genre that you can’t help but have a smile on your face throughout most of the film. It also bucks expectations in many ways, killing off main characters like it’s not a big deal while also throwing some cool twists in along the way. The theme song is also fantastic. I want it playing every time I have sex, lift weights, or enter a room from now on.
You also have to give credit to a movie that does not force a romantic relationship out of its main male and female characters. The girl in question is another fellow Kingsman recruit played by the incredibly sexy newcomer Sophie Cookson. The two clearly have a bit of a fondness for each other, but it’s never explicitly laid out or acted upon.
All this being said, there are a few downsides. Samuel L. Jackson tops the list. I love the guy, but all his lispy monologuing here gets a bit annoying at times. With less screen time I feel like his character would have been a bit more effective. Instead he becomes a bit of a running joke that goes on for far too long. The ending is also a bit abrupt and a little too jokey. There has never been and likely never will be another spy movie made that has its final scene center entirely on the promise of anal sex.
I honestly have to say though, all things considered, a movie this good hasn’t come to theaters in months. Let alone in February. We are currently stuck in the Hollywood movie dump season, so when something this good comes along you need to take advantage of it and buy a ticket. Especially since that movie based on a poorly written book for sexually frustrated housewives is out this weekend too. I’m actually reviewing that next. Pray for my soul.
I give Kingsman an 8.5 out of 10.