Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) Film Review


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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.

KSS_JB_D27_02661.CR2The 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.

RoxyHart 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.

EggsyKingsman: 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.

Rating: 8.5/10

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My Top 20 Films of 2013


Here is a list of MY top 20 films from last year, 2013. There are a few films that I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen yet (Gravity, Thor 2, Monsters Uni…) so they won’t be featuring unfortunately. The list won’t purely be based on just the film, there are a couple that I have in there based on more than just the film, so…..

20. Riddick

Riddick

Right, I can imagine that many of you (of the few people who may read this) are thinking ‘what the hell, this movie wasn’t very good.’ However, I did enjoy this movie and admittedly if it was just based on the film itself, it probably would have just missed out but credit has to go to Vin Diesel who worked his arse off for this film to be made. You may or may not know what Vin Diesel had to do to get this movie to be made and then also not dropped while it was being developed and made, but if you don’t I would look it up as your view on this movie might change. As an original Pitch Black fan and i’m sure others fans would agree with me it’s nice that the film went back to it’s roots you could say. It was good that it went back to basics and was more like Pitch Black rather than the Chronicles of Riddick (which I did enjoyed), also i’m delighted that Universal (I think) are making plans for the next installment.

19. Iron-Man 3

Iron Man 3

Good film. I enjoyed Iron-Man 3, I know that it had a lot of hype and it had really good ratings and reviews but I did feel that it wasn’t as great as everyone had made out. I remember reading that this film was better than The Dark Knight Rises (which is one of my favourite films ever) and I went into the cinema expecting to be blown away and I came out shocked at the amazing reviews, but having had time for that to settle and having watched it more than once it is a good film, i thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s got many reasons to be higher in this ranking but it’s just my personal opinion and the higher ranked films are ones I appreciate more than this.

18. Carrie

Carrie

My initial feelings towards this remake was disappointment, but that was my own fault for having such high expectations. I’m a huge fan of the book and the original movie, which in all honesty didn’t really need a remake, but with the technology I felt they could do something really special with this film, they didn’t, but it wasn’t far off. I loved Chloe Moretz as Carrie I thought she did a fantastic job, I had to watch this a few times to get over my disappointment and realised that this was actually a good film, the effects were good, the parts taken from the book were good and the bits that were different I didn’t feel had a negative affect on the film.

17. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

the hobbit 2

This really was a difficult one for me personally because It’s similar to the Iron-Man 3 situation, it had been hyped up so much and then i watched it and it didn’t quite live up to those expectations at the time but after thinking about in my mind over time it’s a great film, i’m not familiar with the books so I don’t know how true to them they are. I do have a big issue and it’s not really with the film itself because i like it, It does kinda feel like there’s been a 6 hour build up to the third movie. Overall the film is good!

16. The Hangover 3

hangover 3

First of all, this film shouldn’t really be called the hangover 3, because it’s not really a hangover! Once I got past that the film is pretty great. It’s funny, serious, happy, sad, it’s a bit of everything and I would watch it many times. I think this film may have not done as well as it could due to the fact the second was like a copy of the first and people were getting bored of The Hangover as a whole and those people were right to be bored to be fair, but the third installment was good and if you’ve not seen it, see it!

15. Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Now this was a tough one because in my mind I kept swapping how i felt about it, one minute I thought this is pretty good, the next I thought well it’s OK…..But now my mind is made up and it is a good film, I like how it wasn’t the same as the original but was the same as the original in a weird way. Again it was another film that didn’t really need to be remade however again with the technology we have today I was excited and pretty creeped out at times to be honest with how well it executed some things. I’m hearing rumours that another is going to be made and I am totally for it, I hope it happens!

14. Fast & Furious 6

FF6

The Fast and Furious franchise seems to get a lot of hate even though it does well at the box office and I am one of the people who doesn’t understand the hate, I really do love all the films and I enjoyed this one. When I first heard that they were going to take F&F in another direction in terms of the films not being about street racing anymore and more about heisting and stuff I was worried because I liked them how they were but now we are a deeper into the story and it’s all starting to come together and fit, i’m happy and the films are great. R.I.P Paul Walker.

13. Epic

Epic

This film really was epic, I really enjoyed it and it was my favourite animated film of the year and the only one in my top 20, this was a pleasant surprise for me as I was actually forced to watch this by my girlfriend and it turned out to be a great funny film, there are bits in this film that had me in stitches laughing. I think it was a slug and snail that were two of the funny characters and they really were great, Chris O’Dowd voiced one of them and they really were amazing, took this film to the next level. Go and watch this if you like animation because it really is great!

12. Man of Steel

man of steel

This was one of my highly anticipated films of 2013 and I had been waiting for so long for this to come out and the first time I watched it I loved it and I still love it now. The beginning was just superb, the interpretation of Krypton was hectically beautiful, the action scene was insane and I loved Russell Crowe however he can’t do much wrong in my eyes. If had done this top 20 after i watched it this film would be top 5 easy however over time I have noticed things that I don’t like with this film and after watching it at least 20 times, I’ve realised that Henry Cavill really doesn’t say a lot….it’s still a great movie and I could watch it any time.

11. Oz: The Great & Powerful

oz

I don’t think that I have ever been so pleasantly surprised by a film, I honestly don’t, I am a really big fan of things linking together and a film having a really good story or a prequel to be told. This film really shocked me as I really enjoyed it and thought it was fantastic to watch and I would watch it again. The story behind how the witch became the witch was really cool, James Franco is pretty cool in it too, there isn’t much more to say other than it’s really bloody good and you should see it if you haven’t!

10. Star Trek: Into Darkness

   StarTrek

Well this is higher than I thought it would be, however I think that’s due to the awesomeness of the first one. This was still a great movie. I thought the story was really good and had some good emotional parts to it, I also liked the all round character development that was in this film. Good characters from the first have now developed into great characters and when you go through the characters, if any of them died you’d be disappointed which I think is good, when you have characters that are a bit irrelevant to the audience it doesn’t have the same impact when something happens to them.

9. The Internship

the internship

This (I may be wrong) was only their second film where they were the lead characters together, the other obviously being Wedding Crashers. I love these two-together-on there own, I don’t care much. They make me laugh, when you watch a film with them in, you know what you’re going to get because you automatically think ‘ah Vince Vaughn is just going to be Vince Vaughn in this, and Vince Vaughn is funny,’ this is the same with Owen Wilson. The Internship is no different, I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t overly popular from what I gathered but I think that was due to the time it came out, it came out at a similar time to some big films last year, which was a shame.

8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

the hunger games

Great film, probably a slight improvement on the first, unfortunately it’s still nowhere near as good as the book. This second installment did live up to many people’s expectations, no one thought it would be as good as the book after the first film but it’s still pretty awesome at times. I thought it was hard for the film to make sure that the audience is interested for the whole film as there is a long stretch where they’re not in the actual hunger games, however they did well to make sure it was exciting as well as interesting. I’m looking forward to the final two films which I think is the last book split into two, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the violent nature of the book…

7. American Hustle

  American Hustle

Clever & sexy, American Hustle was what I class as a quality film, it has a great cast that did a great job. Christian Bale seems to impress me the more I see him, the job he did in this film was great, you really believed him, along with everyone else. I loved this film because it almost made you feel like you were there in the film, doing the hustle with them. When it came down the big deals I was tense, I was nervous, I wanted them to pull it off. There aren’t many films that can make you do that which is why I thought it was so good, this is a must see from 2013.

6. Now You See Me

now you see me

Now this was a cool film, and a clever one too. Everything about this film was good, when i try and break it down and find something wrong with it I struggle, it was so clever. Ignoring the fact it had two legends in this film, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, it still had a decent cast including Woody Harrelson and Mark Ruffalo. This film really did have do well and took me by surprise because I love a good twist and admittedly I did work it out before the end it took me longer than usual to work out but was still really good! It was refreshing to see something so new and different.

5. Insidious: Chapter 2

insidious 2

Yes the end to the first sucked. Yes the second film was amazing. James Wan needs to take a bow because the work he has done this year has been nothing short of first class. I felt that this film was less about the scares and more about the story, it payed off and it was brilliant. There were some really clever moments in the film and it all fitted together perfectly, I’m not sure if the ending was implying another, I would imagine so however I don’t think it will be based around the family. Great film, the only reason it’s not ranked higher is because it’s not as scary as other film, but the story was top notch.

4. We’re the Millers

we're the millers

I don’t think I stopped laughing for the whole film, this was really funny and normally it’s just the one character that is always funny but for the majority of this film everyone was really funny, especially the ‘son’ of the family! Some of the things that the characters go thorough in this film are hilarious and it’s probably the Comedy of the year for me.

3. Doctor Who: Day of The Doctor

Doctor Who

Well, it was kind of a film, it was in the cinema so that’s a good enough reason for me to throw it in here. I love Doctor Who, I’m not the biggest fan but I have watched it since Christopher Eccleston started and it was so so so so so good. This episode was so great and it answered so many questions and the way it all linked together was just phenomenal, there wasn’t much that could go wrong when you have Matt Smith, John Hurt and David Tennant all playing The Doctor. If you’re not a fan it’s hard to get excited for this but if you are you’ve probably already seen it and would agree that it was brilliant!

2. About Time

About Time

This film blew me away, it had me in laughing fits one second and tears the next, this film really did have it all. The cast were amazing and Bill Nighy was moving at times and hilarious the next, this film was like a huge amazing roller coaster and if you’ve not seen it, please watch it because you won’t regret it! If you get emotional easy I would take tissues because you’ll be balling your eyes out. I really don’t want to say too much about it because it really was an amazing film and if I wasn’t such a big fan of Horror it would probably be No.1.

1. The Conjuring

the Conjuring

As a huge fan of the Horror genre, I thought this was amazing, and not just amazing, seriously amazing. It, in my my opinion, is probably one of the scariest films of the last 10-15 years, I think what makes this film so great is the story, there are many Horror films that have potential but just don’t have the story to go with it. James Wan must continue doing Horror movies because he put Horror on the map in 2013 along with Insidious: Chapter 2, the man is superb at what he does. This for me would be up there with my personal top Horror films of all time, seriously scary and seriously good, watch it, if you can bring yourself to do so.