Directed by Matthew Vaughn, UK, 2015
It’s pretty rare these days to see a good popcorn movie released in February. Usually late winter is home to Oscar nominees and garbage. Not just any garbage either, but the kind of garbage that was filmed three years ago and might just be starring Channing Tatum as a wolfman or some crap.
Kingsman certainly isn’t a garbage disposal movie, nor is it an awards season darling. Instead it is the type of movie we usually see inhabit the multiplex in June or July. Based on a comic book? Check! Filled with highly stylized violence? And how! Starring popular actors? That too!
Like its summer movie kin, Kingsman is a lot of fun. Although its basic story has been done countless times before (new kid (Taron Egerton) is recruited into covert organization by world-weary mentor (Colin Firth), goes through training, fights super-villain (Samuel L. Jackson)), it’s done so full speed ahead. It knows it has a cliched, ridiculous plot, it knows that it doesn’t make a lick of sense, and it’s absolutely okay with that.
The only word of caution I have about Kingsman is that it is exceptionally violent – more Tarantino movie than Marvel Comics movie. This can be jarring at times since its unexpectedly graphic for a film that succeeds as a tongue-in-cheek homage to old-school spy movies and new-school comic book movies. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You might like Kingsman: The Secret Service if: You’re craving a fun popcorn flick and you can’t wait until May.
You might not like Kingsman: The Secret Service if: Pulp Fiction made you nauseous.
(c) 2015 D.G. McCabe