Saturday, February 28, 2015
Movie Review - "Kingsman: The Secret Service" (2015) - Manners Maketh Man
It is hard for critics to admit it, but sometimes our outlooks on certain movies depend on our moods. If we are having a particularly crappy day, for one reason or another, and go see the new Marvel movie, our reviews might end up being pessimistic and more negative than they should be, due to our gloomy disposition.
However, sometimes the opposite can happen - You could be having a terrible day, only for that one film to come along that'll brighten up our day and make it all seem worth it.
I bring this up for two reasons, one is that "Kingsman: The Secret Service" did just that for me today - taking a day of headaches and stress and melting it all away with some smiles, action sequences and laughs. The other reason is that "Kingsman" reminds me of when I saw "Guardians Of The Galaxy," and was having a not so good day and only somewhat enjoyed the film.
I realize that my mood had something to do with my opinion that "Guardians Of The Galaxy" was just a good dumb popcorn film, when it still had a quirky story, beautiful color palette, some very unique characters and was the funniest film I watched in 2014. For that, I apologize.
With that being said, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" follows many of the same steps as "Guardians Of The Galaxy," from zany and over the top action sequences, to characters who want to rule over everything, to the type of story that encompasses many types of genres and almost feels like a tribute to the past. And of course, the sense of humor is top-notch.
Young Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a British hoodlum who cannot seem to find his place in life, having quit the Marines and has never had a job. After he gets arrested, a mysterious tailor, Harry Hart (Colin Firth), gets him out of jail and talks about Eggsy's late father, whom Harry knew and respected. Now he wants to induct Eggsy into that same life and show him the true measure of being a Kingsmen.
I walked away from "Kingsman: The Secret Service" thinking it did everything in excess. There was no shortage of style, jokes and character throughout this film. At times, it was a bit too much, like a scene where Colin Firth's character has an extended action sequence in a church, but it was impossible to look away from this films' craziness.
It also seems like the film knows that it is a movie, and that it never takes itself too seriously. About halfway through the film two characters, including the villain (played by Samuel L. Jackson), have a discussion on spy movies and how both of them prefer the older James Bond movies with megalomania and extravagant plans to conquer the world over the newer Bond films that are far too realistic. "Kingsman" emulates that attitude throughout, with both the villain's plan and the many over the top action sequences that'll have you flabbergasted.
Yet under the skin of a zany spy film lies a kind-hearted and well-mannered focal point. The Kingsmen practice manners above all else, as they consider themselves the modern-day knights - defenders of those who cannot defend themselves and must do so in a fashionable way. The villain and fights might be over the top, but our protagonists are down to earth without being snooty and uptight.
My favorite touch to the film is that Colin Firth's character has the front page of every local newspaper taped to his office wall of the day he succeeded in a mission, yet the newspaper is always a celebrity scandal or sporting event. It is a reminder that these men do not do this for the publicity or fame, but because it is the right thing to do.
"Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a fun, over the top action film with a good heart that keeps the film from getting stale. The jokes usually hit the right notes, the characters range from crazy to understanding, and it acts as a nice tribute to spy films. The film goes a bit insane at times, but it only adds to the charm.
Final Grade: B+