BY Molly Congdon
In any spy movie, there are a few key elements that must be included: a villain who has a master evil plot, whether it revolves around monetary gain or just wreaking havoc to simply pass the time; an individual or group that fights for justice and does everything they can to save the world from the treachery of the villain; and, of course, an array of super cool gadgets.
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” certainly had all of those ingredients and blended them quite well. The plot moved at a good pace and the action-packed fight scenes were actually extremely well-done, which was a shock. Overall it truly exceeded expectations.
Since 1849, the Kingsmen have saved the world. Of course, they haven’t received any recognition for their acts of heroism. Thus is the life of a member of a top secret British espionage group. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table inspired the group, including the code names of each spy. Who wouldn’t want to be called Lancelot?
Headquarters is located in a completely ordinary-looking tailor shop, which is actually quite appropriate since the Kingsmen are first and foremost gentlemen, extremely well-dressed gentlemen. As Harry “Galahad” Hart (Colin Firth) said: “The suit is a modern gentleman’s armor, and Kingsmen are the new knights.” This seems like an appropriate place since the candidates for new spies are shaped and molded until only one is the perfect fit and meets Kingsman specifications.
Firth is perfect fit
Firth was actually a good spy figure, especially when utilizing his umbrella. His career has expanded outside the romantic comedy range. He has a very James Bond-esque quality, but with better table manners. A fight scene in a local pub was particularly enjoyable, as he defeated six men with ease after locking the door, building a psychological edge before even starting. Who knew he could pull off this kind of role?
Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) is a potential Kingsman, but before being accepted into the ranks, he must pass a variety of tests during the most dangerous job interview ever. (Candidates have to write their name on a body bag prior to undertaking the challenges as proof that they realize the risk they are signing up for.)
Eggsy is the underdog, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, completing against a slew of privileged, silver spoon-fed, prep school-bred children. However, being a gentleman isn’t a birth right, it’s a learned behavior.
It is fascinating to see the different levels of training that the group must endure as they attempt to fill the spot of the deceased Lancelot. It’s a test of character and loyalty.
Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the mad tech genius Valentine, isn’t as intimidating as he is creepy and crazy. (Here’s a hint, don’t buy a Sim Card . . . even if it gives you free Internet, calls, texts and data.) He sets his usual authoritative voice aside for this role and adapts a lisp as well as an aversion to blood. He sits wearing his flat-brim hats and his clear-rimmed glasses and quivers in the background of his villainous plot.
The real terror is his right-hand woman, Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), who slices her opponents with her razor-sharp metal foot appendages.
The Kingsmen are forced to stop Valentine’s plot, which could result in a significant loss of life across the globe, and also deal with deception within their own organization. Even a good spy can go bad.
In the final minutes, there is a rather enjoyable fireworks display. This movie sure does go out with a bang.