Kingsman: The Secret Service

500 Days Of Film Reviews Action Drama, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton And Samuel L. Jackson

Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a spy - a member of a super secret organisation called Kingsman. After making a mistake that results in the death of a colleague, Hart pledges to be there for the family of his fellow spy - his wife Michelle (Samantha Womack) and son Eggsy (Taron Egerton) - should they ever need him.

 

Fast forward and Eggsy, now a young man, is in trouble. Hart comes to the rescue believing that, despite his troubled past, Eggsy has the potential to become a Kingsman - an even more dangerous job thanks to a new global threat from a twisted tech genius.

Is It Any Good?

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a controversial and divisive film. 

 

For many audiences, Matthew Vaughn’s film (adapted from the comic book by Mark Millar and illustrated by Dave Gibbons) is ridiculously good fun - the perfect humourous spy antidote to what has become an increasingly serious Bond franchise. 

 

However, other viewers took exception to Kingsman: The Secret Service. Indeed, according to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) this was one of the films that generated the most feedback during 2015. Many of the complaints revolved around the film's extreme

violence (particularly during a church massacre) thought by many to be more suited to an 18 rated movie.

 

I find myself somewhere in the middle of these two camps. Kingsman: The Secret Service is an enjoyable popcorn film that plays with the spy genre in a knowing and increasingly ridiculous manner. We are all in on the joke here, laughing at Bond while also enjoying the fetishism of the suits, the high tech locations, the gadgets and the weapons on display.

 

Meanwhile, there is a charming ‘My Fair Lady’ story between Harry and Eggsy, largely thanks to charismatic performances from both Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. You root for both characters as they try to save the world from Samuel L. Jackson.   

 

 

The violence in Kingsman: The Secret Service is certainly extreme - particularly in that controversial church scene. However, I believe that BBFC made the right call by giving this film a 15 certificate rating. The violence is so cartoonish, so utterly over the top that it becomes laughable and, ultimately, meaningless.

 

However, BBFC also reported that many audience members took exception to a crude sex reference that occurs at the end of the film. It is with this unnecessarily offensive gag that I also have a problem. 

 

As a result, despite enjoying the cast and the sheer ridiculousness of Kingsman: The Secret Service (and also despite understanding that the joke is a reference to early James Bond films), this scene left me with a distinctly sour taste… something a subsequent a rewatch has not alleviated.  

 

Random Observations

Have you seen Kingsman: The Secret Service? 

 

If you have, what did you think of this film? Let me know in the comments section below or via Facebook or Twitter (@500DaysOfFilm).

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Wendell (Monday, 18 September 2017 23:58)

    Interesting take. I'm a big fan of this movie for all the reasons you give for it being enjoyable. The violence, as you said, is so cartoonish and so ridiculous it can't be taken seriously. However, that over-the-top quality is what makes the church scene so memorable and the best scene in the film.

    As for the joke in question, I think that's more divisive than the whole of the film itself (pun only sorta intended). Yes, it was unnecessary, but not a deal breaker for me, especially since it's a few lines of dialogue in a two hour film and doesn't change the tone of it. I appreciate the way you feel about it, but I was ultimately okay with it.

  • #2

    Jane (Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:00)

    Hey Wendell,
    It is so interesting to me how people react to this film. It really does inspire divided opinions doesn't it. It surprises me how I can't get over that last gag... as you rightly point out, it is only a couple of lines of dialogue in a two hour film. I think it is probably because it jarred with my sense of Eggsy as a fundamentally sweet and decent character. Still, am keeping an open mind for the sequel!