When “Kingsman: The Secret Service” premiered the same weekend as the infamous “50 Shades of Grey,” it at first seemed like the movie was to be taken over by its competition. Thankfully, the star-studded cast and action-filled trailers managed to bring in well-deserved crowds.
Although the film, rated R for violence, language, and sexual content, is certainly no Oscar nom, the almost cartoonish level of violence and comic book worthy characters allowed the film to succeed in keeping audiences entertained.
Colin Firth leads the way as Harry Hart, codename Galahad, a sophisticated and well trained spy seeking to recruit the young Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, to the secret spy organization known as the Kingsmen.
Though Samuel L. Jackson creates a hilarious yet menacing character in Valentine, a tech genius who seeks to cleanse the world in a less than orthodox fashion, the true standout is Firth.
Firth, age 54, is most well-known for his dramatic roles in historical films or his rather sweet roles in romantic comedies, so to play a super spy trained to kill was a dramatic leap for the actor. Firth absolutely nails as Galahad and manages to delight and entertain audiences with his proper yet deadly skills.
Not only was the casting for “Kingsman” brilliant, but the script is as well. The film seems to know exactly what it is: a love letter to old school spy films and a truly good time.
The film features many references to spy films and TV shows both old and new (Eggsy even has a pug named Jack Bauer). This reminds audiences not to take the film too seriously but never takes viewers too far out of the film.
Moreover, the action sequences are stunning to watch. Director Mathew Vaughn took a much different approach to his action scenes than the popularized shaky-cam that has become a staple of modern action films by keeping his action scenes, such as the film’s new take on the standard bar fight, smooth and easy to follow. (Thank goodness!)
Instead of relying on a shaky camera to hide sloppy choreography or bad acting, Vaughn simply made sure that his actors were well prepared for their roles. This element, along with the inside jokes and interesting concept, provides a refreshing change of pace from the typical modern action film.