Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) non-spoiler Review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

    Directed by Matthew Vaughn

    I never cared too much for Vaughn's directorial debut 'Layercake' although admittedly I did not see it under ideal conditions. His next film 'Stardust' had some of the most dreadful marketing but when I finally happened upon it the film turned out to be a pretty entertaining fantasy yarn. He then followed it up with the one two punch of super-hero movies 'Kick-ass' and 'X-Men: first Class:. The former becoming a cult hit that spawned a crappy Vaughn-less sequel and the latter reinvigorating the X-Men franchise that had been tarnished by Brett Ratner. Next their were the rumours that he was being lined up to take on Star Wars Episode VI to the glee of many but eventually it was made known that his next project was to be this film then titled simply 'Kingsman' and the Star Wars job went on to the un-remarkable JJ Abrams instead.

    So here we have Kingsman which reunited Vaughn with his long-time writing partner Jane Goldman to adapt another comic from Kick-ass scribe Mark Millar. The story centers around a spy organization's agent (Colin Firth) who recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid (Taron Egerton) into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius (Samuel L. Jackson). The film was made outside the studio system and then sold as a finished product to a studio just the way they did with Kick-ass and it is probably the reason why the young lead character is actually surprisingly likable throughout instead of an overly street cool annoying fool that you find at the centre of most Hollywood productions. All the other characters are well written and performed too and the film has a lot of satire about the changing nature of spy films and seems to take a deserved swipe at the over-seriousness of Skyfall.

    On the downside, even though the film is set clearly outside of the real world, I found many of the combat scenes to be too sped up and cartoony which made the tone just shift a little too far into the ridiculous at times but was happy to see them make the most of their intended R rating. This is a small gripe as most of the film is fun and it does have some good tense set pieces and plot lines. On the whole I do not think this will be a big hit in all countries and it does not seem to have been marketed very well or been able to capture the spirit of the film but I recommend checking it out.


    7/10
     
  2. dayglo

    dayglo Member

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    Saw this yesterday, and I found it to be a ton of fun and well worth watching in the theatre. The trailers from last year made it look interesting as it seemed to embrace things more recent spy thrillers have abandoned, and that just added to the whole fun of it.

    It's also one of the most elegantly violent movies I've seen in quite some time. :p
     
  3. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    It did better at the American box office than I thought it might considering its a very english film.
     
  4. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I felt KICK ASS was hit and miss but overall I quite enjoyed this. Despite a high violence quotient (albeit very stylized and surreal) it has much of the feel of old school spy fare like early Bond, THE AVENGERS, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E and Matt Helm with none other than "Harry Palmer" himself, Michael Caine, along for the ride. Firth is first rate , the young Egerton make a great impression and Jackson has a ball as the over the top baddie. Great score and loads of action. Has the occasional crude moment (this is after all the same guy who did KICK ASS, so it's gonna have a bit of raunchiness) and is occasionally weird for weird's sake, but overall a lot of fun.
     
  5. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    I preferred kickass overall
     
  6. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    i definitely had a blast watching this. It very consciously is an attempt to bring the ridiculous run of the Bond films back to the spy genre and really is all the more fun for it. Firth really does hold up as an ass-kicker quite well. And Jack Davenport probably could have made a really good Bond if he was offered the role. Jackson's villain is quite a trip, though I kept thinking of Flavor Flav every time I saw him, and they actually did a really good job fleshing out his motivations in a way where you could actually understand his plan and where it was coming from.

    My only complaints are that the violence, and it is really violent, makes for an odd tone. The set-piece in the church, while stunning, is somewhat muddled by the brutality and makes for a rather emotionally/politically conflicted scene.

    And, if you are one who reads ideology into these sorts of things, there is a lot of distasteful messaging going on. The film can easily be read as being pro-imperialism and pro-classism, despite a few platitudinal statements to the contrary. But, then again, those sentiments have always been tightly woven into the "Bond" fantasy, so it's hard to think of them being easily removed.

    Also, while I think Eggerton does a very commendable job in the film and I liked him a lot, I don't think he has the charisma to carry on further if this becomes a franchise.

    But, those are all really nit-picky points. In the end, Vaugn has once again proven himself to be a really excellent filmmaker with an eye for impressive visuals and a knack for handling a sharp script with wit and style.
     
  7. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Just got back from seeing this at the bargain theater and thought it was great fun. I didn't realize it was an R-rated movie, all the publicity made it look PG-13, so I was very pleasantly surprised by the violence.

    Didn't realize the director also made Kick Ass and X-Men: First Class. I'd say the movie is pretty much a cross between the two, only with British spy movies instead of super heroes. Definitely a fun time at the movies.
     
  8. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Anyone check out the sequel yet? I'm thinking about catching it this afternoon.
     
  9. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    I saw this today and while it wasn't as good as the original it was still entertaining. Certainly left wide open for another entry in the series. One of the highlights was seeing a new Bruce Willis trailer. I hadn't heard that Death Wish was being remade and I'm looking forward to seeing it.
     
  10. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I thought it was really fun. The first may have been slightly better, but this certainly delivers on the same level. If you liked the first, I can't imagine you wouldn't like this one.
     
  11. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Got to see this a few nights ago and thought it was fun but nowhere near as good as the first film. I found the villain extremely weak in this new one and thought there were a few too many unnecessary plot elements that bogged it down a bit.
     
  12. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    The prequel was released on Hulu and HBOMax today, but I just finished it and it was a total bore.
     
  13. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I watched it a few nights ago and thought it was great. Totally surprised me. The main segment with Rasputin was a highlight that had me uncomfortable, shocked and thrilled. Really great stuff.
    The characters are all fun and entertaining to watch plus Matthew Vaughn's camerwork and cinematography are always a treat.
    This was far from a total bore.
     
  14. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    I saw The King's Man as well. It is a scope picture which would probably give you more enjoyment if you saw it in the theater. I didn't enjoy it as much as Zombie Dude but didn't think it was as bad as CPT HOOK. The original film is still by far the best of the series.
     
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  15. hots4

    hots4 Dogs In White

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    I'm with you, I found it boring, it's funny the only time I was animated is when I was slagging of the movie for its gaffes. Especially towards the end. You crash your plane quite spectacularly and you still manage to get on the mountain with nobody detecting you...really!!!!!!!!

    Also I thought the movie was about the creation of the King's Man? That seemed to be tacked on in last 5 minutes, hi all I've brought this shop, want to be in my organisation, ok. The end.
     
  16. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    It used to bother me when hundreds/thousands of bullets are being shot at the protagonist and none hit him. Now I take it with a grain of salt and say it's a movie and you have to suspend your belief. James Bond films are a perfect example of this. This is also true of unstoppable killers such as Jason and Michael. You just have to realize that no matter what violence is dished out to them they will be coming back.
     
  17. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    There were a couple of lively bursts, such as the above mentioned Rasputin fight scene and the unexpected death of a main character, but for the most part I spent the majority of the running time checking the clock. None of the charm or fun of the originals is present here. It was a bit tedious, I doubt I'll be back if they do another.
     
  18. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Definitely had some high moments. I would absolutely recommend watching it for the Rasputin stuff. The fight alone was excellent with ridiculous, original, and just plain fun choreography. But, man, the rest of the movie was a huge drag. And, so conflicted in its agenda. They run with this whole "war is terrible" thing, but still show how was makes heroes of men. They rail against the upper class society and the caste/class system but still hold up the monarchy. And, while I get that a lot of that imperial fantasy stuff is baked into the Bond (and thus whole spy genre) mold, you can still work around that in creative ways. And, as much as I've liked Vaughn in the past, this really was Abrams "mystery box" story telling at its laziest. But, man those Rasputin scenes were great. The movie was definitely fun up to that fight scene. It's a shame they didn't just stick with him as the main villain.
     
  19. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I was more than a little perplexed by the whole "look at the senseless killing of all these young men" message while at the same time the major drive of the later half of the movie was trying to get America involved in the war so that American men can be senselessly killed as well?
     

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