Kingsman The Secret Service reminded me precisely why it is I don’t like action movies (and by extension horror movies) that are rated PG 13, it cuts out the practicality of the violence we’re seeing on the silver screen. Thankfully Kingsman was rated R, and while some of the violence was the overtop (in the hilarious kind of way we love and adore from our action movies) it was grounded well within reality because it was believable. I don’t mean believable in the sense that a lot of what happens in the film could happen, I mean that in the sense that what happened in the film fell entirely within MY willing suspense of disbelief. I believed EVERYTHING that happened could happen within the realm of this film, because it took itself seriously when necessary and made fun of itself when necessary. It’s a tightrope that the Action-comedy genre walks, how much is too much of either part of it can determine whether or not a movie is a success.
While the promotional material would have you believe that Colin Firth or Samuel L. Jackson is the main character (much like Godzilla tried to sell us some BS that Bryan Cranston was the main character when it was Aaron Taylor-Johnson) neither is the main character but both of them play pivotal roles in this flick (The mentor Harry Hart and the villain Valentine respectively). Our main character is Targon Egerton’s Eggsy, a young man in his early twenties who has pretty much given up on achieving anything because of the cards that life has dealt him (haven’t we all at one point or another?) His father died a long time ago, though the circumstances surrounding his death are confidential because he was a member of a super-secret society that exists outside of all forms of government so as not to be weighed down by bureaucracy and paperwork. They are the Kingsman and, as Harry Hart has put it, they are the new Knights of the Round Table, their suits are bulletproof and they look damn fine doing their jobs! It is here where Harry Hart meets a young Gary “Eggsy” Unwin and leaves a plot important coupon with him.
Unfortunately our film opens up to the untimely demise of Lancelot (oh don’t act surprised there isn’t a plot without this death) which results in several youths from the elite of the elite being drafted to train for this position. Eggsy, having gotten himself into a scrape that will leave him in jail for well over a year, uses his plot important coupon and is freed from prison and almost immediately brought in to train for this lucrative yet apparently very fatal position.
This is considered the most dangerous job interview of anyone’s life, and it proves to be far more taxing than most of them realize. In the background, though, Valentine and his MEGA AWESOME Dragon, Gazelle (who is equipped with some awesome razor sharp prosthetics) are gallivanting around the world convincing the most powerful people of the world to back him in his plan or be locked up beneath his evil lair until after V-Day, because the world is going to need them to pick up the pieces.
Mark Hamill, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, and Mark Strong add to the trifecta that is Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Samuel L. Jackson. They exist to bolst the three of them, but they aren’t simply background extras. Each of them adds to the film in their own unique way, and while others could have been used more, the ones who truly shine continue my belief that a strong supporting cast can make or break a movie.
Kingsman is a dark film at times, and a fun comedy at others, but don’t be fooled, it has depth, creativity, and originality (yes I know it was based off of a graphic novel, clearly we’ve run out of book trilogies to make into quadrilogies so we have to go somewhere now!). I guarantee you’ll enjoy this one if you can simply let go and relax. Okay, maybe don’t relax. You might just laugh out of your seat.