Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Beware the following will contain plot detail.

As of late, movie villains have become decreasingly evil. Their terrifying presence and devious plans withered down. In part this is due to all the screen time spent on developing the hero’s backstory leaving the villain as an afterthought, like the vegetarian option at a dinner party. After all, the bad guy probably won’t hang around for potential sequels.

Kingsman suffers from this syndrome. Whilst it is a spy parody, thus the main villain Valentine (Jackson) is fine being comical in nature, the character does feel hastily written. On the other hand, there is a lot more to say about the Kingsman, the well-dressed and posh secret service, who as the film starts, are hiring. Eggsy (Egerton), as his name suggests, is the antithesis of the Kingsman coming from a deprived background on the streets of London. So, when he enters the recruitment process of the Kingsman, there is a lively culture clash and for those who have seen Men In Black there are similar themes here. Soon the Kingsman are on a classic mission to save the world giving rise to a feast of action and lashings of comedy.

When it comes to being a parody, for me there aren’t any moments that stand out and for my personal taste, it tries a smidgen too hard especially the final scene which I found cringeworthy. Overall, Kingsman might sound generic, because all spy movies at a high level are, but it does offer a unique alternative angle to this genre. And despite the negatives here and there, the style and visuals are attention grabbing. It manages to balance not taking itself too seriously along with the elements of a decent spy movie, which is not easily achieved.

 

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