Kingsman: The Secret Service
Carry on, Bond
Classic Elsternwick - Friday 06 February 2015, 6:55pm
Running time: 129m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: MA15+ (Strong violence and coarse language)
Release date: 05/02/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 2.5/5)
Kingsman: The Secret Service is the story of Harry Hart / Galahad (Colin Firth) taking the young and directionless Eggsy (Taron Egerton) under his wing as repayment of a long standing debt for Eggsy's father saving Harry's life many years earlier. Harry wants to see Eggsy succeed as the newest agent of the Kingsmen (the Saville Row based, super secret private spy agency) and we are taken through the various hair-raising and challenging trials the candidates must go through in order to make the final cut. All of this plays out at the same time that Samuel L Jackson, as Valentine, the lisping, ghetto-fabulous megalomaniac billionaire tycoon, is hatching a dastardly plot to rid the world of all but a select few human beings.
Kingsmen tips its bespoke hat at the Bond, Bourne and sometimes even the Carry On franchises, with the subtlety of an Aston Martin fitted with a Gatling gun. All of the standard conventions are there, including the ticking down of the doomsday clock, amazing gadgets that come in perfectly handy in the circumstances (Q would be proud), a helpless but seductive damsel in distress and Valentine's super creepy, Oscar Pistorius inspired hench-person, Gazelle, played brilliantly by Sofia Boutella. And even Michael Caine is there....playing Michael Caine. All that's missing is a fluffy white cat for Valentine. At times Kingsman takes itself a little too seriously and at other times not seriously enough at all. There are moments of silliness that will make you cringe, violence that will make you squirm and dialogue that will make you roll your eyes, but you will also be entertained and given many genuine laughs.
Is it an action adventure, spy thriller, comedy spoof, or all of the above? Perhaps it doesn't really matter, as they succeed in delivering a film that is campy fun, light and thoroughly enjoyable. It's not a great film, but it never sets out to be. However there's enough there to possibly even deliver a successful franchise of its own....maybe look out for Kingsman 2 some time in the future. And while you're watching, keep an eye out for Mark Hamill, remembering that none of us took quite the same as we did in 1977. (DP)