From director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) comes this adaptation of the spy comic book series “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Harry Hart (Colin Firth), code name Galahad, is a member of an independently operated spy agency known as the Kingsmen. When an agent codenamed Lancelot is killed in the line of duty, candidates are rounded up to be his replacement, with Harry choosing Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), the son of a former member of the Kingsmen seventeen years earlier. As Eggsy trains to be a Kingsman, under the tutelage of Merlin (Mark Strong), the organisation begins investigating a sinister plan by internet billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).
Following his 2010 film adaptation of Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn returns to adapt another comic book property from Mark Millar. Kingsman: The Secret Service can be best described as a satire of British spy movies, with the Kingsmen being a team of suit wearing gentlemen, who use lethal gadgets to save the world from deranged madmen. The films makes many not so subtle references to the James Bond films, which even includes the characters verbally comparing the events to the films.
Much like Kick-Ass did for superhero films, Kingsman: The Secret Service tackles spy films using tongue-in-cheek humour and over-the-top violence. In fact, it can almost be argued that Kingsman follows some of the same plot beats as Kick-Ass, except within a British spy setting. The film makes sure to differentiate itself from its James Bond inspiration through the film’s pretty bloody violence and slightly darker outcomes. However, there are still some aspect of British spy films that remain the same, including the rewards.
Colin Firth is a great fit for the lead role of Harry Hart, who takes Eggsy, played by relative newcomer Taron Egerton, under his wing. The film also features Matthew Vaughn regular Mark Strong as Kingsman trainer Merlin and Michael Caine as organisation head Arthur. On the villainous side of things, Samuel L. Jackson seems to having fun as the ruthless American Internet billionaire Richmond Valentine, who speaks with a lisp and gets extremely queasy at the sight of violence, leaving all the dirty work to his blade-footed henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella). The film also features a brief appearance by Mark Hamill as kidnapped climate scientist Professor Arnold.
Altogether, Kingsman: The Secret Service turned out to be some pretty fun spy action.8 | LIKED IT