Ben Oliver

Banner image for Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Manners maketh man.
23 May 2015

A young man’s (Taron Egerton) father is killed during a raid in the Middle East, conducted by shadowy spy-firm Kingsman. Years later he is contacted by an ex-colleague (Colin Firth) and invited to start training for them.

What a boat load of fun this film is. I’ve come to really enjoy Matthew Vaughan’s directorial efforts (Stardust, X-Men First Class, Kick-Ass) and here his style fits the bill perfectly. It’s slick, slightly surreal and highly original.

He gently prods the ribs of the early James Bond films but acknowledges their entertainment value. This is more homage than send-up, despite its knowing winks to the audience.

Kingsman is the very definition of irreverence, and this is where much of its comedy comes from. Spectacularly stupid scenes are carried off with such panache that they actually work.

There’s also an attention to detail that is absent in most films of its kind. The set dressing is meticulous, reminiscent of Wes Anderson. It draws us in and creates an air of intrigue around the Kingman’s headquarters. The action scenes are equally pristine; this is a violent film but it feels like every drop of blood has been accounted for.

For the sake of balance; plenty of jokes fall flat and the back story with the family back home was a bit ham fisted. However when the credits roll no one cares.

Mad, violent, sexy, hilarious, explosive; this is entertainment in its purest form.