Thursday, February 12, 2015
Kingsman: The Secret Service Review
By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor
Due to my former life as an Events Director for The Racquet Club of Philadelphia, a city club with a venerable and stately environment - once only open to gentlemen of a certain birth and station, I can appreciate the sentiment behind Matthew Vaughn's (Layer Cake, X-Men First Class) spy thriller KINGSMAN:THE SECRET SERVICE. This is a world of bespoke suits, a code of conduct, established rituals, loyalty and a sense of belonging. And then you add in kick-ass action and it becomes a movie!
We all know Colin Firth is a wonderful actor, but I think it's even more apparent when you think this was the guy tussling in the street like a 10 year-old girl, trying to do damage to Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones's Diary, and now he's masterfully taking on 5 or 6 opponents with an umbrella/bumbershoot, barely breaking a sweat and looking quite convincing. In interviews, Firth has been saying it was quite a lot of work to get into this type of "superhero" shape, however, during the process he began to enjoy the physicality of training; so we may be seeing a thinner, more fit Colin Firth in future flicks.
Quick synopsis: Firth plays Harry Hart, code name "Galahad", a member of a Gentlemen Intelligence Operation (Kingsman Knights) run by Michael Cain as "Aurthur". Like James Bond they possess deadly weapons and lethal gadgets, are quite particular about their martinis and specialize in saving the world from megalomaniacal bad guys, like the lisping Richmond Valentine, well played by Samuel L. Jackson. Valentine, for environmental reasons, has figured out a way to depopulate the world by offering free phone and internet services. Now, the scary part about that is, it would work! During an early run in with Valentine, one of the Kingsman "Lancelot" gets sliced and diced. Therefore, a replacement must be found, but instead of interviewing a seasoned spy, each Kingsman enlists a new, young recruit, someone they feel brings the qualities of a Gentlemen or Gentlewoman agent. These recruits are put through a rigorous boot camp more psychological than physical. Galahad brings in Eggsy, played by newcomer Taron Egerton, an East Ender, semi-delinquent, who doesn't seem to fit the bill.
I liked the scene where: Harry speaks to Eggsy about transformation through movie references like Trading Places and Pretty Woman. Eggsy is clueless about these old movies, yet instead refers to My Fair Lady. I suppose no matter your age, if you are a Brit you know the story of Pygmalion. I also love Harry's line quoting Hemingway - "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
Result: Kingsman:The Secret Service is on point, creatively true to the genre, humorous, with a single vision. I'm so relieved it's not all over the place with too many cooks in the kitchen, like Jupiter Ascending (click for T&T post).
T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5
I've got what it takes to become a #Kingsman knight! Do you? If I told you any more, I'd have to kill you. http://t.co/T0Ngg8iMNh
— Tinsel & Tine (@tinseltine) February 12, 2015
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog