A movie review of “Kingsman: The Secret Service”: This cleverly constructed homage to the Bond pictures is a comedy, though granted, one with gore galore. Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson star. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
Once upon a time, there were “The Avengers.” And no, I don’t mean guys in flying armor and green rage monsters. Rather, once there was a dapper British secret agent named Steed and his partner, a lethal lady named Emma Peel. (Nobody ever looked better in a catsuit.) Those are the Avengers, of TV fame, I’m talking about.
In the tradition of Patrick Macnee’s stylish Steed comes a chap code-named Galahad in “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Played by Colin Firth, he’s the epitome of upper-class elegance in an exquisitely tailored Savile Row suit, accessorized with a tightly furled brolly. Which is bulletproof. And with which he can lay out a bar full of louts with some wicked martial-arts moves. Clearly, the man has skills.
And clearly director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn (“X-Men: First Class”) had giddy good fun making a movie that nods at Macnee but really is a cleverly constructed homage to the Bond pictures, particularly the early ones starring Sean Connery, before everything got so deadly serious in the Daniel Craig era.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Kingsman: The Secret Service,’ with Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, from a screenplay by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based on a comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. 128 minutes. Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content. Several theaters.
From its blaring, brassy Bond-derived musical score to such signifiers as Rosa Klebb-style shoes — click heels together to extrude death-dealing poison toe blades — it’s old-style Bond, complete with a scenery-chewing, chaos-sowing villain played by a weirdly lisping Samuel L. Jackson.
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At heart, “Kingsman” is a comedy, though granted, one with abundant dismemberments and literally mind-blowing violence. And I mean “literally” in the very strictest sense of the term.
But hey, cute puppies are also a key element in its plot, so there’s that.
The Kingsmen are a supersecret spy outfit always on the lookout for likely recruits, or in this particular case, an unlikely one: a young street crook named Eggsy (Taron Egerton), whose Kingsman dad sacrificed his life to save Galahad in a long-ago mission gone bad. Galahad feels obligated to try to reclaim the kid from a life of crime.
There are training sequences and gunplay sequences and also sequences where Galahad instructs the lad on the finer points of being a gentleman. Rough-edged and surly early on, Eggsy gradually shows he’s got a good heart. Loves cute puppies, he does.
And later on, he looks mighty good in a suit.
Excellent tailoring makes the man in “Kingsman.” Yes it does.