Who would've thought that what could possibly be one of the best movies of 2015 came out in February? I sure as hell didn't. Well, The Grand Budapest Hotel did come out in March in the US last year, but whatever. March ain't February. Anyway, Kingsman: The Secret Service follows the story of Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a young delinquent who's landed himself in jail. To his surprise, he's bailed out by a man named Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who offers Eggsy a chance to become a Kingsman and take down billionaire Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from exterminating nearly all of mankind. What's a Kingsman you ask? Unfortunately, that's classified.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is everything you could ever want in an action movie. It's sleek, it's stylised, it's over the top, it's got a kick ass villain and it's a heck of a lot of fun. If you're a fan of those good ole spy movies, particularly the classic Bond films, which do get multiple name drops and references, then this is undoubtably your cup of tea. No, actually, if you're a fan of movies in general than you're in for a treat as Kingsman: The Secret Service is a film so unbelievably fun that it made me forget I was seated in a public movie theatre. There were multiple moments in this film that had me so invested that I lost connection with the outside world. Now, how often do you get to say that, aye?
Director Mathew Vaughn, who's previous work includes the brilliant X-Men First Class and the just as entertaining Kick-Ass, returns to bring us his best film yet. His direction is so unique and, dare I say gorgeous? He really gets the best out of his actors, but what he does even better is film the action. My god, the action sequences are breathtaking to watch, yet at the same time they're approached in a manner that's not overly serious. It's goofy fun at it's best.
While there's plenty of action to go around, there's a scene at a church that first comes to mind. I wouldn't dare spoil the details of what happens as that's not Kingsman material, but I will say that it's the most fun I've had in a cinema in ages. Filmed as one long tracking shot, only to cut away twice very briefly, it's a scene that had my heart pumping, my eyes bulging and my mind screaming for more.
It's just refreshing to see all the cast members go out and do something as rambunctious as this. Take Colin Firth for example. He's been doing a lot of serious movies as of late, and I mean really really serious movies. There's Before I Go To Sleep, The Railway Man, Devil's Knot and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, just to name a few. Watching him just have fun with this role makes the whole film worthwhile, yet he's still not as ridiculously awesome as Samuel L. Jackson, who just gives this film his all. He plays a lisped technological genius with no stomach for violence. Come on, you have to admit that that sentence alone intrigues you, right?
It's the newcomers, however, who are just as impressive. Taron Egerton, who plays our leading man, has just the right amount of charisma to suit the role, all without becoming overly cocky. He's an interesting character and while his back story is rather clichéd, he's still a character worthy of leading a film. Sophie Cookson's also brilliant as one of the few trainees willing to show Eggsy some respect. It appears that Vaughn may have started a successful career out of the both of them, as well as a hopeful franchise out of the film too.
There is, unfortunately, just one minor downside. There is just one thing removing this film from receiving a five star rating and that's how predictable it is. Yes, I know, I'm a snob, but I'm sorry. As fun as this film is, you can't help but feel that it's an overused storyline with an outcome that you've seen before. While this is true, I couldn't really care too much as the rest of the film is just so goddamn awesome and exciting. So yeah, thank you Mathew Vaughn for this. I don't normally say thanks after reviewing a movie, but hey, manners maketh man.
To sum up, Kingsman: The Secret Service is everything an action movie should be. It's flashy, exciting, fuelled by awesome performances, full of kick-ass action and just a heck of a good time.
4 1/2 Stars