Kingsman: The Secret Service is potentially one of the best films of 2015 and we are only two months in. This action-comedy-spy movie is loosely based on the comics named ‘The Secret Service’ which was only six issues long (for now) released over one year, mid-2012 to mid-2013. The film is centred around Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) and Harry Hart or code name ‘Galahad’ (Colin Firth), an experienced member of the secret service Kingsman. Hart witnesses the sacrifice of his colleague and friend after Hart made a mistake when interrogating a threat, due to guilt Hart decides to take a bravery medal to the widow, Michelle Unwin (Samantha Womack), of his ex-colleague. The bravery medal has a number on the back and Hart, feeling in debt to Michelle, claims that she should call the number on the back and state ‘Oxfords not Brogues’ if they ever need help.
The film advances seventeen years and shows one of the Kingsman, Lancelot (Jack Davenport), attempting a rescue mission on his own. However he is violently killed by Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), a woman with mental prosthetic legs. Meanwhile Eggsy, who is now a young adult, still living with his mother who is now with an abusive boyfriend, Dean (Geoff Bell). Eggsy with his cockiness provokes a number of Dean’s friends to attempt to fight with Eggsy and his two friends in a pub. The film gives the impression that Eggsy often gets into fights due to his sarcastic and confident attitude, however he manages to avoid the fight in the pub and leaves with his two friends only for them to discover he stole the keys to Deans friends car. Eggsy and his two friends take the car for a joy ride eventually crashing after being chased by the Police, Eggsy encourages his friends to leave before they get arrested, which they do. Whilst Eggsy is in the police station he decides to call the number on the back of the medal, this leads to Hart preventing Eggsy from getting in further trouble. Hart introduces himself to Eggsy as he is leaving the police station, which leads to them getting to know each other more, although Hart knows most of what there is to know about Eggsy.
Due to Lancelot’s death the Kingsman hold a meeting which is chaired by the head of the Kingsman secret service, Arthur also know as Chester King (Michael Caine). The meeting concludes with each of them having to put forward a candidate that will undertake weeks of training and tests.After the meeting Arthur assigns Hart to the project that Lancelot was working on. They discover that the case is linked to the famous business man Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine is the head of a business and is well known for trying to improve planet earth and looking for ways to prevent further damage. Valentine creates his own theory to improving the plant and announces that he will be giving everyone a free sim card for their phone which will provide everyone with free calls, texts and Wi-Fi.
Hart selects Eggsy as his candidate to go into the training and tests. This is where the story really starts moving and growing in depth and introduces some important characters. Roxy (Sophie Cookson) is another candidate that is up against Eggsy however they develop a good relationship from their first meeting. Eggsy also meets the man in charge of all the tests and candidates, Merlin (Mark Strong).
Kingsman shows a completely new type of spy film as it has serious themes, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. At times the scenes are very Tarentino-esque without the large amounts of blood. Some of the cinematography and filming is stunning, one particular scene in a church has some brilliant angles and also has that comic book feel to it. The majority of the fighting scenes are fast paced and smooth which just adds to the fun experience you get from watching this. The cast in the film are brilliant; Firth, Egerton, Strong, Cookson, Jackson all play their characters flawlessly with a number of the characters having interesting relationships that keep the audience engaged in the story. Matthew Vaughn did a fantastic job with this film, finding a brilliant balance of comedy and action whilst also at times poking fun at the classic spy genre.
Kingsman: The Secret Service has created something that has the potential to become a very large and popular franchise. Egerton’s acting was brilliant as he was able to deliver two different characters in the sense that at the start of the film he was a chav, arrogant and reckless yet grew and developed into a gentleman. Firth’s action sequences were visually stunning, whether he did them all or not is another question but impressive regardless. I felt that Strong’s character Merlin was the biggest surprise for me, as the film develops, so does his character. Merlin develops a good relationship with Eggsy as the story grows, Merlin is at times unpredictable with the tasks that he sets for the candidates, which I think develops his character further. There is nothing more unnerving than a villain that thinks their doing the right thing, however Valentine is not necessarily a villain to be feared due to his unintimidating features such as his lisp and friendly nature. Kingsman is fantastic fun, combining a number of different aspects like comedy and action, the blend of the two are just right and don’t leave you feeling like you’ve watched a parody film or another Mission Impossible-James Bond film, but somewhere in the middle.