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Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Scott Roberts
Kingsman: The Secret Service
on Feb 13, 2015 at 10:22:46 pm







Premise: A teen (or was he 20 something? I don't know) gets chosen to enter the British secret service because his dad was an ex-member. Meanwhile, an evil billionaire is plotting something diabolical! Uh oh! And then it's up to the spies and their youthful counterparts to stop him! Yay! ( ...I don't know why I sounded so dismissive of the plot here, I actually liked the movie a lot. I think I'm just tired)



Pros:

-The action is completely bananas. It's got that slow motion shot choreography that gets sped up to look ridiculous, and manages to make stuffy British gentleman Colin Firth look like a total badass. There is lots of gratuitous violence, but it's all really cartoony, and it totally works with what director Matthew Vaughn was trying to do. I'd say it surpassed (his earlier film) Kick-Ass in terms of sheer lunacy.

-The trailers made the leading actor kid (Taron Egerton) look like a Jaden Smith-type brat, but once you sit through the movie he comes across more as just a normal dude. He's got some smarm, sure, but not nearly as much as I assumed he would.

-Samuel L. Jackson cracked me up pretty consistently. Like most of the movie, his lisp was unneccessary but very welcomed. If anything, he was a really memorable villain.

-I don't think I mentioned yet that this movie is pretty much non-stop fun and entertainment.

-It's basically a R-rated tribute to old spy movies, with all the wacky gadgets and over-the-top scenarios. I mean, the villain's main henchman was a lady with swords for legs. There's a lot of direct references to old spy stuff, and it ain't bad. The martini joke was great.

-Hey, is that Mark Hamill?

-Best pug humor since The Campaign. "This isn't a bulldog?"

-Without giving anything away really, the scene at the end where the stuff explodes was fantastic. One of those sequences that will probably get remembered like the Quicksilver scene in X-Men Prequel 2.

-It also ends on an abruptly comical moment.



Cons:

-If you want to be a stick in the mud, and I know some people like to be... You could probably label this entire movie as drastically unrealistic, and the villain's plot as not being scientifically possible. You could. I don't think you should, but you definitely could. Or you can just have fun with a silly movie? Your call, buddy! But I think the movie pretty clearly sets a standard early on for you to just enjoy the nonsensical ride. Remember Moonraker? That wasn't very realistic either.

-A lot of the very obvious references to James Bond seem a bit too on the nose. In several scenes, they even say the words "James Bond" out loud, in a movie that's basically an homage to old James Bond. I guess it's neat in a meta kind of way, but it's sort of like hand-holding the audience to make sure that they get what this movie is supposed to be resembling. I guess if they didn't do anything, some nerdy jerk would be like "They're ripping off classic Bond!" To which everyone with half a brain would go "Duh". Not everyone has half a brain, I guess.

-I suppose there's no real emotional investment in it. It seemed like there were emotional moments, but they didn't really hit me very hard. Probably because they were sandwiched in between a crazy action sequence and a funny joke.



Final Thoughts: This is kind of near the other end of the spectrum of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. Not that those are bad in any way (ok, well, Quantum of Solace), but they certainly are grounded in a sense of reality, and brutal pain inducing violence, that's supposed to leave an impact on you. Kingsman is more of a throwback to when spy movies were wacky, unrealistic, and the violence is so stupid, and people so unflinchingly expendable, that you couldn't possibly take it seriously. But it makes you smile. I will continue to watch Craig's Bond films, but this was a welcome change of pace. A crazy spy movie that isn't as winded as Bond, but not a spoof like Austin Powers. It's a nice middle ground that Matthew Vaughn pulled off, probably because he's a pretty cool director. If your significant other isn't dragging you to 50 Shades of Grey this weekend, then I'd recommend you see Kingsman.

9 out of 10


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Mark Suszko
Re: Kingsman: The Secret Service
on Feb 14, 2015 at 4:33:39 am

I just saw it tonight. Didn't understand why Mark Hamill was cast as the professor - not that he was bad, he was good - just that the small role really didn't require someone as recognizable as Hamill.

The movie more or less follows the Campbellian Hero's Journey pattern closely, with just a few small fake-out diversions, but you know going in pretty much how it's all going to play out.

Sam Jackson's choice of a Mike Tyson accent was... interesting. Definitely helped put the movie into the cartoony graphic novel world of it's origin.

The dog scene kind of surprised me, in how it played out.

This movie is not going to be looked on favorably by the Swedish Royal Family.

I found it entertaining but not in any way a "significant" movie. It's a spy movie parody, with some flashy action and swear words. Johnny English, I thought, was funnier for that. But this one caters to a more youthful audience, really teen-centric.

Movie came with a red band trailer for Vince Vaughn's upcoming movie, which featured gratuitous nudity. Also, a trailer for the hotly anticipated sequel of the year: Paul Blart, Mall Cop 2; getting maulier. THAT trailer gave away pretty much the entire movie is a re-hash of the first one, set in Vegas.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Kingsman: The Secret Service
on Feb 16, 2015 at 9:59:53 pm

[Mark Suszko] "It's a spy movie parody, with some flashy action and swear words. Johnny English, I thought, was funnier for that. But this one caters to a more youthful audience, really teen-centric."

I don't know if I'd put something like Kingsman and its R-rated hyper-violence in the same category as Johnny English, a PG family friendly spoof movie. I'd argue that Johnny English is the more youthful film, with Kingsman being more of a "for immature adults" type movie. I mean, they're definitely the same sport (spy movies), but they aren't exactly in the same league. It's like Rugby vs. flag football. Not that one is necessarily worse than the other, but they are different and similar at the same time. I'd group Johnny English more with Austin Powers.


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