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The International Writers Magazine: Film Review

The Kingsman: The Secret Service
Directed by Mathew Vaughn
Screenplay Jane Goldman
Starring:  Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, Samuel L Jackson, Sofie Boutella and Mark Hamill (yes 'the' Mark Hamill as Dr Arnold)
• Sam North review

Like a throwback to the days of Roger Moore as James Bond, The Kingsman is a entertaining diversion with some flair. Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a Kingsman, a secret intelligence outfit that operates outside the remit of MI6 and does all the wet jobs the real spies couldn’t possibly do. 

Kingsman: The Secret Service

They operate out of a tailor’s shop in Saville Row (also the centre of art in London) and it combines all the finesse of an old style Bond movie with the little tricks that The Men from Uncle used to get up to, not to forget Get Smart.

As one of their member dies, they are obliged to train up another.  Six recruits are found, one clearly from a very working class background (the son of a former member who saved Harry’s life 17 years before.)  The boss of the outfit Michael Caine (Arthur) doesn’t rate Harry’s recruit, he wants the Hooray Henry’s to win and so yes, this is a class war movie as well as spy movie.  There is a proper villain, Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) sort of Elon Musk character who wants to rule the world, not to mention drive us all crazy first and the proper villain sidekick, Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), who wears blades to good effect to slice her enemies to bits. Oddjob was nothing compared to her.

There’s all the traces of Kick-Ass here, another Mathew Vaughn movie, the violence, the pathos, but without spoiling anything, the violence is taken to sick new level in a key scene in the movie and all is justified because of the target. It will astonish you.

The working class boy (newcomer Taron Egerton ‘Eggsy) and his ‘family’ are so clichéd it is embarrassing, every stereotype you could ever want inhabiting the home and pub and the mates he knows.  Perhaps Mathew Vaughn needs to get out and mix with real people a little more – but that aside – it’s fun and the money's on the screen. It has Michael Caine and it is perfectly 1977  - even if there aren’t any shoulder pads.  Sophie Cookson is Roxy, the tough tottie who is Eggsys biggest rival to become a Kingsman and there’s a nice little joke with the puppies…

Hard to say more without giving stuff away, but it is fun, and gives Colin Firth a decent role to play that has been lacking for a long time and no doubt is all set up for a sequel in a couple of years time.

Watch the trailer here

© Sam North Feb 2nd 2015
author of the YA novel Magenta

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