“Kingsman” pays homage to the spy genre



The poster for “Kingsman” perfectly represents the blend of style and action.

Erin Bockenstedt, Staff Writer

Not since last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” did I see a movie that made me laugh, make me emotional and want to punch stuff in the face. After seeing the spy action comedy, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” I can finally say that it made me feel those things again, and more.

The plot of “Kingsman” is simple, a tech genius who is also slightly insane has a plan to fix global warming, and it involves making everyone in the world want to kill each other. At the same time, the secret spy agency, known as the Kingsman, is looking for a new agent after losing one of their own. Sounds good, right?

“Kingsman,” directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), is loads of fun. It features a wonderful cast of both experienced and new actors. The experienced including Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine, and the newcomers being Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson, who play recruits for the Kingsman agency, and Sofia Boutella as the villain’s sword-legged assistant.

The actors seem to be having the times of their lives, Jackson most of all, as he plays the tech billionaire villain with a lisp that makes you chuckle at every word that comes out of his mouth, which makes it hard to take his dramatic scenes seriously. Firth gives a great performance, as per usual, proving that a 54-year-old can still kick tons of butt. Strong provides a lot of sharp wit and his character Merlin is probably my favorite.

The real gem of the movie is Egerton, as the main character Eggsy, going above my expectations of him simply being a bland, pretty boy hero, and showing Eggsy’s vulnerability and snark in tough situations, and making the transition from street kid to spy over the course of the movie feel more real. Cookson is also very nice as the female lead Roxy, and it was a wonderful thing for her to not be the main character’s love interest and have her story arc and decisions be separate from Eggsy’s.

Other performances, such as Michael Caine or the other “Kingsman” recruits left me unimpressed. Caine just seemed tired the whole time and I found myself bored during his scenes.

But a fair warning, if you are squeamish, this movie might not be for you. While the action is well done and highly adrenaline fueled, there are some moments that could be deemed unnecessary. There’s a fight scene in a Westboro Baptist Church ripoff that is pretty great, as a lot of it goes on for one whole camera take. That being said, there are certain things in it that will have your jaw on the floor.

The movie also lets the audience know that it knows how ridiculous it is at times, with spy movie cliches being mentioned and being responded to with, “This isn’t that kind of movie.” I am a fan of movies that know what movie it’s supposed to be, so “Kingsman” was on my good side rather fast.

“Kingsman” is also visually stunning, using pretty people, gadgets, clothes and scenery to keep the audience engaged. It delights you with classic spy tropes and lots of whip-smart humor. While “Kingsman: The Secret Service” will most likely divide audiences, one thing is for certain for me: It’s one heck of a ride.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Rated R for violence, strong language, and sexual content.