When I read John’s review of Kingsman: The Secret Service I was a little disappointed as it seems to sell the movie short. He definitely liked it and recommends you go and see it, but I think that I want to take things a little further and I want to try and explain why this could be the best 2 hours you spend in the cinema this year! So here are my 10 Reasons that you must watch this film.
Reason 1: Matthew Vaughn
As a Producer Matthew Vaughn was involved in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Mean Machine. As a Writer/Director he has brought us Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and now we get Kingsman. If that list doesn’t excite you then shame on you!
Reason 2: Gazelle’s Legs
I had to google Sofia Boutella (Gazelle) to find out whether she was really an amputee or whether her villainous legs were just CGI. I was actually disappointed to find out that they were CGI until I realised just how good the CGI was… i.e. I couldn’t tell they were fake.
Reason 3: Colin Firth
Nobody says ‘Fuck’ like Colin Firth. When he first uttered that expletive in Bridget Jones’ Diary it just made me laugh out loud. In Kingsman he continues to deliver some fruity language like a pure master. John also touched on the physicality of the fight scenes and Firth’s involvement in them. To my eye they were flawless and I cannot praise them highly enough. Which brings me onto…
Reason 4: The Fight Scenes
WOW! I remember the first time I watched The Matrix and I was blown away with the ‘bullet time’ fight scenes, especially the lobby shoot out between Neo, Trinity and an assortment of cannon fodder. Vaughn brought us something new and gritty in Kick-Ass’s fight scenes, but here in Kingsman he takes us to the next level. The fighting is less gritty and gratuitously bloody than Kick-Ass, but the choreography is spectacular. The scene in the church, where Colin Firth is the last man standing, ranks as one of the best fight scenes I have ever witnessed in a film.
Reason 5: Samuel L. Jackson
Whilst Valentine cannot be classified as his most challenging or dramatic role, I have to say SLJ delivers his faux-Arch Villain as a masterpiece in understated comedic ‘bad-guyery’ (I am trademarking that word). Valentine is ruthless and rich and yet completely hopeless, such that Gazelle has to coddle him from the realities of the horrible things he is instigating.
Reason 6: Movie Cockneys
There is something about the Cockney accent that I find amusing. I lived in London for many years and I never once met a real person who could have come straight out of a Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn movie. Films like Cockneys vs Zombies just wouldn’t be funny if it was Yorkshiremen vs Zombies, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels wouldn’t have been half as great set on Tyneside. Only Movie Scousers come close to being as funny as Cockneys and even they fall short.
Reason 7: Cameos
Mark Hamill and Jack Davenport both have very small roles in Kingsman. Hamill’s professor is a million miles away from being a Jedi and Davenport’s Lancelot could potentially be descended from Norrington. However both pull off their parts with aplomb before meeting a swift and messy end.
Reason 8: New Comers and Old Hands
Lead Taron Egerton (Eggsy) and the underused Sophie Cookson (Roxy) both have big careers in front of them if there is any justice in the world of acting. At the very least I hope for a sequel. Add to them Michael Caine (Arthur) and Mark Strong (Merlin) and I give to you one of the strongest British ensembles of recent years.
Reason 9: James Bond and beyond
I lost track of how many nods, both reverential and mocking, there are to both classic and modern day Bond. It is worth seeing Kingsman again just to try and count them all. I’m sure Vaughn will be criticised for just how much of the plot devices are stolen from other films, but I think that they just make this a perfect homage to the genre, especially given how preposterous the plot is anyway.
Reason 10: A Scandinavian Princess
Hanna Alström’s Swedish Princess delivers my favourite line from the film, and offers Eggsy the best incentive EVER for saving the world. I will not spoil it here, but I challenge you to disagree with me in the comments below. Plus she has a very nice bottom!
Reason 11: The Soundtrack and the Opening Credits
OK I can’t count, but I had to include this. Having a gun ship blowing chunks out of a Middle Eastern fortress and those chunks forming words in the credits, all backed up with Dire Straits OR having an ‘alternative’ firework display to Land of Hope and Glory are just masterpieces of movie magic. Now in the interest of balance and fairness here are my 3 Reasons NOT to see Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Reason 1: You are under 15.
Call me a fuddy duddy, but the ratings system is there for a reason.
Reason 2: You are squeamish
If you couldn’t watch a single episode of The Walking Dead, then this film is not for you as the comedy violence is pretty gross at times.
Reason 3: Erm…
Nope – I can’t get to 3. Seriously this film is just total and utter fun. I have watched too many Oscar nominated movies recently and I was generally underwhelmed. 2014 was a poor year cinematically and you need films like Kingsman: The Secret Service to restore your faith in cinema’s ability to make you happy.