The phrase ‘action movie star Colin Firth’ is not one i’d ever thought i’d utter… Kingsman: The Secret Service changes that. Director Matthew Vaughn (of Kick Ass & X-Men First Class fame), along with long time collaborator Jane Goldman have crafted a brilliant, funny and uniquely wonderful love letter to the old school British spy.
The story follows Colin’s character ‘Galahad’ as he inducts a new apprentice to the ultra-secret service of the ‘Kingsmen’. The chavvy Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (brilliantly played by relative newcomer Taron Egerton) is not their usual caliber of recruit, but Galahad sees something in the lad and pushes to train him as a super-spy.
Firth seems to take to the action star role rather well, tackling some of the most brutal comic book fight sequences since Hit-Girl sliced her way through 2010’s Kick-Ass. Egerton looks completely comfortable on screen, despite this being his first time on a film set and holds his own, which is a great achievement looking at the incredible caliber of actors surrounding him. Michael Caine playing the Kingsman’s leader Arthur, Mark Strong as weapons and tech specialist Merlin, and Samuel L Jackson chewing through scenery as Valentine, the lisping, evil billionaire looking to destroy the world. Special mention also needs to go to Sofia Boutella who plays Valentine assistant/assassin Gazelle, who has a rather unique weapon of choice!
Vaughn, once again, has managed to take the work of Mark Millar, and transform it into a highly entertaining (if also ultra-violent) movie. It’s old-school Bond-eque, without being Bond, mixed with flashes of his previous work on Kick-Ass, Snatch, and a dose of class. Wonderfully stylish, and very funny.