I finally got the chance to watch this movie. I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I had heard good things about it.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (directed by Matthew Vaughn) follows Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) as he is recruited into a secret spy organization that calls themselves the Kingsmen. Samuel L. Jackson is Richmond Valentine, the strange villain, and Colin Firth plays as Harry Hart, the secret agent that takes Eggsy under his wing.
It gave off a Wanted (2008, directed by Timur Bekmambetov) feel, almost. Although very different movies, the execution of its plot, characters, and violence felt very similar.
The plot was decent; it was interesting and not unoriginal, but it certainly didn’t make any mind-blowing or groundbreaking revelations. I have no complaints about it, but there wasn’t really anything in there that I would particularly praise. The idea did not break any creative boundaries, but it was something I hadn’t seen in a while and I felt the movie executed it well.
The characters could be said to be interesting, but it was more of their certain, personal characteristics that made them interesting, and not their development. Colin Firth played Galahad extremely well, the experienced and classy gentleman who had taken a liking to Eggsy. However, it felt very two-dimensional. Galahad, or Harry Hart, only had that one facet to him. I felt as if the guilt and backstory could have been more of an important aspect to the movie; it would have provided more insight to how Harry was, as a character. Right now, it felt like Harry was more of an idea of a man, rather than an actual three-dimensional character.
Richmond Valentine was very interesting, but again, like Galahad, only because of his certain quirks, like his fashion sense and the lisp. Valentine’s character seemed to only be there for the role of the strange villain, much like those bland villains who are supposed to be smart in spy movies, but a little bit better, because Valentine is certainly more interesting, and also because it’s Samuel L. Jackson. But without those, there would be nothing left of Richmond Valentine.
Eggsy is just not that interesting, let’s be honest. Yeah, the parkour was cool, the street smarts and quick fingers were cool, but other than that, Eggsy did not stand out.
The two-dimensionality of the characters didn’t really bother me throughout the movie though; the cinematography and violence was enough to entertain me.
The violence, while more so than some other movies, was not such a big deal, at least to me. Not that it isn’t gory, it just wasn’t as gory. There was a lot of blood, but nothing that really piqued as disturbing. I also really appreciated the music during the violent scenes; although they were certainly morbid, it was a relief the movie did not try to play that angle because it really wouldn’t have worked.
What I really enjoyed was actually somewhat childish–all of the cool, seemingly mundane gadgets the Kingsmen could play with. The gun disguised as an umbrella, the hand grenade lighter, classy shoes with a hidden blade–all of those cool spy cartoons I used to watch when I was younger had manifested into a real movie with intense choreography and bloody violence. I am a huge sucker for many tropes, and mundane objects that turn out to be deadly weapons is one of them.
Conclusion: Kingsman captivates the audience with the perfect spy, a gentleman exterior with a trained fighter hidden, and the entire idea of this is backed with plot and characters decent enough to keep the audience interested, but is not as developed as three-dimensionally as it could have been. Bonus points for the suits. 7/10.