Kingsman: The Secret Service is based off of the comic book by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons (just called The Secret Service, which ran from 2012 to 2013). It follows the exploits of Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) as he goes from a street punk in London to a formidable super-spy as he works alongside the Kingsman organization to take down Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Eggsy trains under Harry Hart (Colin Firth) in his attempt to become a full-fledged member of the organization, but things go awry as they uncover Valentine’s plot.
Kingsman is very timely, thanks to the fact that the book it’s based off of only came out a couple of years ago. It clearly plays into societal fears of rapidly advancing technology, the “One Percent," as well as looking at the problem of domestic violence (via Eggsy’s home life).
The film is directed by Matthew Vaughn, who previously directed other comic book-adapted films such as Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class; he’s clearly applied his experience in those films to Kingsman. It’s resulted in a stylish action film that looks straight out of a comic book. A mid-movie fight scene that focuses on Colin Firth’s character might be one of the best action sequences I’ve ever seen.
The cast is also unbelievably strong. Taron Egerton shines in the lead role of Eggsy, which also happens to be his first major film role of his career. Oscar-winning Colin Firth shows that he can amaze in an action film just as much as he can in any drama, and Samuel L. Jackson’s charisma is perfect for the villain. The supporting cast of Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella and Sophie Cookson is equally as strong, and bit roles by Michael Caine and Mark Hamill add a lot as well. I personally would have liked to see the women play greater roles, but since their characters were either minor or non-existent in the book, I guess that’s to be expected (do better, Mark Millar). I also wish that the names hadn’t been changed; it seems pretty silly to do so for really no apparent reason.
Though the film does not follow the original comic frame-for-frame, it’s close enough to where anyone who’s read the book will easily be able to anticipate what will happen next. Actually, even if you haven’t read the book, it’s still pretty predictable – probably the film’s only downfall.
At a two-hour run time, it may seem as though there would be parts that drag on, but that never happens. The film feels quicker than 129 minutes thanks to the writing and direction. Kingsman: The Secret Service is a must-see for fans of action, comedy, or the classic spy thriller.
[easyreview title= "Review of Kingsman: The Secret Service" cat1title="Carrie's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="4.5" overall= false]