Matt Adcock at the cinema - Kingsman: The Secret Service
Cheeky, classy and action-packed, both a reverent homage to and a street-smart update of the old school James Bond movies.
Co-writers Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn are on top form adapting Mark Millar’s hyper-violent, rousing comic book tale of young Gary Unwin (Taron Egerton) – known as ‘Eggsy’ to his pals – who transforms from teenage council estate boy to smooth Kingsman agent with the help of the erstwhile Harry Hart (Colin Firth).
The Kingsmen, you see, are an elite group of agents who operate at the highest levels but with complete discretion. Headed by Arthur (Michael Caine) and taking their names from the Arthurian Legend, including Merlin (Mark Strong) and Lancelot (Jack Davenport), they are the new ‘knights’. Stylish tailored suits are their armour and guns, gadgets and technology their weapons.
While young tearaway Eggsy is undergoing “the most dangerous job interview ever” – up against rival candidates like the gorgeous Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and others who all herald from privileged backgrounds – a dastardly global threat comes to light in the shape of Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Can the Kingsmen rise to this challenge that threatens all mankind? Will Eggsy make it to become an agent? It’s delirious fun finding out.
Millar’s story is gripping and amusingly self-aware and Jackson’s baddie gets many of the best lines – delivered with an outrageous lisp. In fact all the cast go about the action like their lives depend on it and the manic energy translates to a rip-roaring blast of decidedly non-PC fun.
Kingsman is made most by the standout performance of Firth who takes to dealing out violent action as if he’s been doing it all his life. It’s hard to explain just how great it is to see him beating thugs, mowing down enemies and generally out ‘Bonding’ 007 himself – all the while personifying the perfect gentleman spy.
Those who like their spy thrills sedate and high brow, or who are adverse to sweary dialogue, might not go for it as much but for anyone who’s ever enjoyed an action film, you should make seeing this an absolute must as it just might be film of the year!