Friday, January 16, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Is it possible to have this released on Blu-Ray the same day it arrives in theaters?  Because I want to watch the shit out of this movie over and over again.

Kingsman:  The Secret Service – 5 out of 5

The Red Band trailer for this film sold me like it came with the promise of unlimited sex and showers of cash would rain down on me for life.  When I saw that, I knew I had to see this movie because it looked all kinds of fun.  Thanks to a buddy of mine, I was able to catch an advance screening of it and the film went way, wayyyyy beyond my expectations and became a ridiculously fun, action-packed, and ballsy action/comedy that has all the makings of a summer blockbuster but is released in the middle of winter.
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox

                                                                                       20th Century Fox
That one henchman looks pretty prepared for his
imminent demise.
To become a Kingsman is a great honor.  You’re a gentleman of the highest order and one of the few who protect the world from threats local and abroad.  After one of their own is killed, Harry Hart, codenamed Galahad (Colin Firth), seeks out the son of an old friend of his and former potential Kingsman.  Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is an unruly kid who likes to get into trouble and lives a degenerate’s lifestyle…but he’s got skills.  Eggsy is entered into the program or, as Kingsman Merlin (Mark Strong) calls it, “the most dangerous job interview ever.”  While Eggsy competes to belong and become a Kingsman, Galahad stumbles on a plot from a billionaire philanthropist with a lisp named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) and it looks like he and his right hand man woman—the evil assassin with bladed artificial legs; Gazelle (Sofia Boutella)—started kidnapping celebrities, world leaders, and experts on global warming (one of whom is played by Mark Hamill) and plans to put an end to the world’s overpopulation.  Can Eggsy pass the test and become a Kingsman and stop Valentine?
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
Alright...first up, the evening wear contest.

Like I said, this movie went beyond my expectations and was a ridiculous amount of fun.  Director Matthew Vaughn (the man behind bringing me back to the X-Men franchise after X3 with X-Men:  First Class, Kick-Ass—the first one, not the second “I’ll forgive you because I love the first film but still had fun with” one—Stardust, and Layer Cake) crafted a film that is the perfect summer action blockbuster (that should have been released in the summer but whatevs).  The film is action-packed, brutal, ballsy, vulgar, smooth, hip, cool, and hilarious all at the same time.  I have absolutely no complaints about this film so prepare yourself for a gushing review—the type of review that most movie critics hate (because they don’t like to admit to having fun with films…it takes away from their Pretentious Points).
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
"A true gentleman and superior Kingsman starts off every day with a self-
high five."

First off, I never read the comic book this film was based from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons but this film definitely makes me want to check it out—even though I know some things were changed.  This film has all the action you would want from a comic adaptation but it refuses to be the gritty graphic novel adaptation that we see a lot of now.  Not that there is anything wrong with a dark and gritty comic film because I love those but it is refreshing to see a film that is capable of being a serious action film and can be hysterical at the same time.  This movie was like an R-rated version of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.  It never took itself too seriously but it never took itself too light either.  When it needed balls-to-the-motherfucking-wall fight scenes, it gave it too you.  When it needed to be Meta as fuck, it did it.  When it needed to make you laugh, it did it all night long.
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
Is it possible to bring Strong back for the day we get to see Sinestro again in
DC's new movie universe they are making?

The action scenes in this film are some pure, uncut excitement served on a silver platter on the screen.  They're fast and Vaughn kept the camera in tight, throwing you, the viewer, right into the heat of all of it.  He was able to make Colin Firth, a very talented but more subdued actor, come off like a legitimate badass that could hold his own against all the greatest action heroes that have ever been in film.  Add in Firth’s natural acting ability, the end result was a seamless translation being unfolded in the film and the combination made it impossible to ever question that the man from The King’s Speech was utterly decimating any candy asses that got in his way.  Then the action takes it a step further and doesn’t shy away from making it gory and brutal.  It made for not only exciting and entertaining action sequences but fight scenes that were hella fun—and that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “hella.”
                                                                                                                   20th Century Fox
Eggsy decides to swim it out while the rest of the recruits breathe toilet air...
Take that fact in for a moment and think about what you would do.

I think there is a possibility that I’ve mentioned it a few times but this film is hilarious…like abso-fucking-lutely hilarious.  The comedy comes in all forms with this film.  Whether it be the off-the-wall silly performance of Samuel L. Jackson—and I don’t mean “silly” as in bad but “silly” as in the bad guy has a lisp and is wickedly fun to watch—or the brutal gags that get thrown in during the fight scenes, this film never lets up on the humor.  Additionally, the film isn’t afraid to pull out a terrible joke and deliver it in a “nod and wink” way.  This aspect is one of the reasons this film worked so well, it’s not afraid to be self-deprecating and is extremely Meta.  Constantly the film is taking cheap shots at itself and the spy genre as a whole.  The film openly makes references to James Bond, Jason Bourne, and more and isn’t shying away from the characters themselves making references to being in something similar to a classic Bond film.  In fact, the character of Valentine openly refers to himself as the typical bad guy and even laughs at the spy tropes seen during his finale.  This level of being complete self-aware of itself made the film one of those fun experiences where it feels like you are not just a spectator but a part of it, like you are in on the larger joke.
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
"What's in your wallets, motherfuckers?"

Then there’s the cast…
                                                                                                                     20th Century Fox
Is Michael Caine accepting applications for grandchildren?  I want him to be
my grandpa.

There were the few that, going into the film, I had no concerns about.  Mark Strong and Michael Caine are two established actors who have proven to be quite versatile and, in Kingsman, they once again prove that there isn’t a genre they can’t enter and not fit right in.  Caine needs no elaboration because we know he can do serious, kick ass, and comedy—he’s shown us time and time again.  However, I was truly impressed with how well Strong could balance being funny and badass at the same time.  I pretty much knew he wasn’t going to be bad going into the film but he, like the entire film in general, went beyond my expectations and delivered in a very awesome and entertaining way.
                                                                                                                   20th Century Fox
"The World's Most Interesting Man never told you the story about how I kicked him
in the bullocks and fornicated with his mother."

One actor I had some reservations about was Colin Firth.  Now, I think Firth is a very talented actor but I didn’t know if this role would suit him (that wasn’t a pun, by the way).  However, Firth proved me wrong almost instantaneously in the film.  He knew the perfect balance of making Galahad a spy that was both the debonair gentlemen of the 60s and 70s but was also the no-nonsense face puncher of the spies of now. 
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
" silly fool.  How could you doubt me?"

The one really big reservation I had with the cast—and it wasn’t getting to see Mark Hamill before Star Wars:  Episode VII—was Taron Egerton as Eggsy.

                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
Can't wait to see Hamill return as my hero Luke Skywalker!
I consider this role his teaser to his big screen return.

Egerton has very few acting credits to his name right now and none of them include a single thing I’ve seen—not that such a fact really means anything.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is Egerton is a relatively new face and when I watched the trailer my initial thought was he could be the weak link in a very amazing cast.  Like my doubts with Firth being a badass, I ate my words fast because Egerton is fucking talented and made the character of Eggsy charming, likable, and fun.  Egerton, and the excellently written script, made me care about Eggsy and I wanted to see him become a Kingsman and save the day.  His evolution of being a ruffian on the streets to being a suit-wearing badass was fluid, natural, and easily engaging.  The chemistry he shared with everyone on screen—be it Firth, Strong, Caine, or even the people he’s competing against like the character of Roxy (Sophie Cookson)—felt natural and made, literally, every scene in the film something to watch—there was no filler with this one.
                                                                                                                    20th Century Fox
"Okay, time to pop a cap in the Penguin's ass."

                                                                                      20th Century Fox
Gazelle takes handicapable to a whole new
fucking level.
Kingsman: The Secret Service has all the camp of old James Bond and The Avengers adventures with all its fun and quirky gadgets alongside the bloody and gratuitous nature of the newer, grittier spy features.  However, with all this, the film isn’t afraid to realize its ridiculous nature and it lovingly will lampoon both itself and the genre as a whole.  While not technically a parody, the film has fun with itself and makes the experience the movie equivalent of a day at Six Flags.  With its stellar cast, epic performances, it’s complete mastery of music (the score sounds like it belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the film has some totally awesome fight scenes set to well known hits, including an epic fight scene set to the guitar solo in “Free Bird”) and with its hysterical and varied humor, exciting action sequences, and a story that never falters or drags at any time, Kingsman proves to be a truly epic and absolutely perfect action film that never let up on the fun.  It will be a crime if this film isn’t franchised and doesn’t get sequels.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This movie is a whirlwind of fun in a guiltily sick way. lol. I hope they make sequels to this movie.

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