Blaise and I went and saw Matthew Vaughn’s new film Kingsman: The Secret Service last night. There was a lot of hope that Vaughn, who has directed such films as Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, could provide us with the first great movie of 2015 (January and February are dark times, my friends). So did he deliver? Check out Blaise’s and my quick reviews below to find out, and then make sure to tune into this Sunday’s podcast for our full spoiler-filled discussion of the film.
Chris’s Grade: B+
The main word that I would use to describe Kingsman is fun. This is a film that knows what it is from the get-go—essentially James Bond meets Kick- Ass—and thanks to director Matthew Vaughn (who did indeed direct Kick-Ass and also X-Men: First Class), it’s a blast from the opening scene to the final one. Everything in this movie is stylized and over-the-top, but it never feels cheesy. One of the best attributes that Vaughn has as a director is that he understands and perfects tone, and he never tries to make Kingsman anything that it’s not—he gets that people are coming to see a cool, stylized action film, and he delivers.
However, that’s not to say that there’s no depth to the movie or that the characters aren’t compelling. Taron Egerton does a great job of making Eggsy an instantly likable protagonist and watching his transformation during the movie is what keeps you interested, even when the film drags a little bit in the middle. Plus, Egerton’s chemistry with Colin Firth only elevates the father-son relationship that his character and Firth’s Harry Hart have. Overall, Kingsman is slick, stylized, and cool (you’ll want to go and buy a nice new suit right after you see this movie), but most of all, it’s fun, and in February, which is one of the absolute worst months of the years for films, that’s really the highest compliment I can pay it.
Blaise’s Grade: B+
Kingsman is one of the best times you’ll have in a movie theater for a long time, especially in February when the rest of the releases are relatively boring. Matthew Vaughn has a great style that prioritizes fun over everything else and makes sure his movies are completely self-aware and never try to be anything more. His over-the-top violence is back and better than ever in this Vaughn-esque version of James Bond. As a director he really seems to be constantly improving on and perfecting his own style because Kingsman has a lot of similar action sequences to Kick-Ass, but better.
The cast was amazing. I absolutely loved seeing established actors Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Samuel L. Jackson in these roles and felt that they both gave fantastic performances. Taron Egerton was fantastic as the lead, Eggsy and was really impressive for his first major film role. I want to see more of this kid soon and think he should continue to break out in the near future. Overall, Kingsman is a movie that shows Vaughn’s appreciation for the classic Bond films and their ability to give viewers a really enjoyable movie-watching experience. He combines this with his own style of creating films that are also overt-the-top, self-aware, and unapologetic, which always makes them a pleasurable viewing experience.
[Photo via 20th Century Fox]