Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 spy action comedy film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, and based on the comic book The Secret Service. The screenplay was written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, while the film stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, and Taron Egerton. The film was released to a positive reception from critics and audience-members, and is thus far a considerable success at the box-office.
In the story, a secret spy organization called the Kingsman recruits Gary "Eggsy" Unwin as a potential agent for their group. The film follows his training, as well as a global threat caused by an eco-terrorist billionaire. The concept is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, and it definitely comes off as an homage to the Bond franchise by the time that it is all said and done. What might be surprising is the fact that there's actually a functioning and coherent narrative beyond that. I feel like when I watched the trailers, I wasn't interested because I felt like Colin Firth didn't come off very likable in the main role, that, and Samuel L. Jackson looked a little more camp than humorous.
In hindsight, Colin Firth comes off as exceptionally likable and has a lot of entertaining moments throughout the film, and while the film's strongest moments aren't the characters, the characters and their development are certainly enticing. Samuel L. Jackson's character is every bit as over-the-top as he came off in the trailers, but he actually does bring one or two laughs in it. Kingsman doesn't necessarily carry a strong amount of depth, but what it does is perhaps even more important than depth, the film is blissfully entertaining. There's a zaniness and a carefree attitude behind it that makes it feel like a film worth checking your brain at the door for. The characters are fun and colorful, and with clearly illustrated good guys and bad guys, and the ridiculousness of it all it kept functioning by its own simplicity.
The action-scenes are the highlight of this film, at least in my opinion. They're not at all realistic, and they don't really emphasize any character element whatsoever. Some critics argued that the action didn't mean anything and that it didn't progress anything, but I feel like I have to disagree. The fighting doesn't support the narrative in a conventional sense, but it supports the concept. The glee of The Secret Service as a film is shown in the action-scenes, they are mindless fun and are crazy and everywhere, up and around. And they are most certainly entertaining.
While Kingsman: The Secret Service isn't by any means a perfect film, or even necessarily what I would call a great film, I did enjoy it a lot. It's a fun film. I think if you head into it expecting nothing else, you'll be in a for a treat. I know that I was.
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