Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

First comic book movie of the year that I’ve seen: Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was a pleasant surprise for February, where studios send crappy movies off to die unnoticed deaths. It’s a fantastic concept that’s so obvious that it seems odd nobody ever did it before, and a surprising commentary on money, class, aristocracy, elitism, and that peculiar habit people have of thinking that other people are expendable towards their noble goals. It’s not as smart as Kick-Ass, by any means, but it is a fun ride and a fantastic spy film.

I also feel vindicated in thinking, back in the day, that a “James Bond, Jr.” movie would totally have worked. It helps that the cast was a parade of awesome British actors who would never be chosen to be James Bond getting to be James Bond:

> Colin Firth, who gets to unleash in one of the most spectacular orgies of violence I’ve ever seen on screen… But Bond? Naaah. Call him when you’re ready to do another Harry Palmer film, though, definitely. Or when you’re ready to do a new “Avengers” (or possibly a new “New Avengers“).

kingsman-the-secret-service-colin-firth-suits

> Jack Davenport: Okay, granted, everybody likes this guy, and he very rarely seems to get to be Super-Awesome Action Guy, so it was fun seeing him in full-on James Bond/Jason Bourne mode. I doubt that (Darkman nonwithstanding) anyone suspected that Liam Neeson would have a run as Super-Awesome Action Guy, either, though, so it’s not too late for Jack. Maybe as our new Simon Templar? He’s got the charm.

> Mark Strong: Are you trying not to be the bad guy all the time, Mark? Remember, the last time you tried to be a spy on the side of the angels you got yourself shot. Bond is probably forever out of your grasp, but a Bond villain, on the other hand…. Now we’re talking.

> Taron Egerton: He’s very young, obviously, but I don’t see it happening. Loads of personality, though – He’s your working-man’s hero, more John McClain than James Bond. What would the British Die Hard series be? Snuff It? Bollocks!? Brown Bread? Not ‘ardly, Mate?

Of course Michael Caine was already Harry Palmer, so no regrets there. And he used to bring Batman his tea, which has to count for something. Also, Sophie Cookson was great, but we already have an Emma Watson, thank you very much.

I also marvel at Samuel L. Jackson’s ability to own roles that he’s been miscast in, like the philanthropist tech billionaire planning on yadda yadda yadda it doesn’t really matter anyway except a lotta people gonna die… It really should have been somebody half his age, but that’s the magic of the man, isn’t it? No matter who he plays, he’s Samuel L. Jackson, and that’s always worth seeing. Surprisingly, not a single ‘motherfucker’ that I can recall. You’re slipping, Sam. Still, his handi-capable assistant/assassin Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) was pretty much born to play this part.

Also: MARK HAMILL!

With Kick-Ass, and now Kingsman, I wonder why studios are so skittish about that R rating on comic book movies. Granted, I’d never want to see an R rated Batman movie, or Spider-Man, or anything like that, but some comic books fit the R rating perfectly, and Kingsman is one of them. Deadpool is another, and it’ll probably get the PG-13 rating so as not to taint that most precious of cash cows, the X-Men franchise. But it could, and should, frankly, be R rated. Of course, then there’s the OTHER problem, which is when studios DO try to make an R rated comic book movie, what they actually do is make a PG-13 movie and cram as much blood and gore into as possible, as if upping the graphic violence count is a fair substitute for writing a decent screenplay. Punisher: War Zone springs to mind, although what the heck – I still stand by that movie, warts and all.

Here’s your run-down:
So many dead bodies you can’t count ’em all.
No breasts.
Multiple colorful explosive decapitations.
Thatcher reference.
Off-screen aardvarking.
Gun-fu.
Umbrella-fu.
Prosthetic Leg-fu
Implied off-screen ass-fu.

Four stars. Christopher Chance says check it out.

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About Maurice

I suffer from acute cinemisery: A lingering depression that can only be alleviated by watching too many damn movies. Sometimes I share them. With someone like you.

Posted on February 21, 2015, in Reviews, Trailers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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