Sitting in the theater watching Kingsman: The Secret Service, I was in front of an older couple who talked through the film, at one point declaring, “This is the worst movie!” In front of me were a couple of young men who laughed raucously throughout the film, thoroughly enjoying the silly ride. I’m not sure what the couple behind me were expecting, but I do think the audience for this one is teenage (or slightly older) boys. It’s basically an adolescent James Bond flick, with all the cool gadgetry and a hot chick villainess you’d expect from the genre. There is nothing of the suave nature of Bond though. It’s crude humor and cartoon violence. But if you just go with it, a lot of it is mindless fun.
Adapted from a comic book, it’s the story of a working class kid named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who is recruited to become a spy by a very secretive British organization. His dad died defending the very upper crust agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth, in an out of character stunt filled turn,) who offers him the chance to compete for his dream job. The movie brings in the whole British class structure with Eggsy competing against a bunch of guys and gals from Oxford and Cambridge, but you know what happens. And then the villain enters. Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson with a kind of annoying lisp) is a techie genius billionaire, but also an environmentalist with an evil plan to combat global warming by killing off most of the humans. And of course only young Eggsy can save the earth.
Mark Strong and Michael Caine are part of the spy network, though they are both kind of wasted. And Samuel L. Jackson’s character is pretty one dimensional, but his sexy partner/body guard (Sofia Boutella) who fights off everyone with her slicy/dicey prosthetic legs is an interesting touch. Kingsman: The Secret Service was directed by Matthew Vaughn who also directed X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass , so you know he likes the fight scenes, which are high body count and totally over the top. It is definitely mindless entertainment, and it felt like it might be setting up a franchise. I’d say take the nephew and enjoy. It could make a kind of decent date flick, too, for the younger crowd. I mean it does have Colin Firth for us chicks.