So, Kingsman was the first of my Most Anticipated films to be released this year, but as I stated on Twitter, I've been dealing with pneumonia, and have been unable to get to the theater, mostly because the horrible coughing fits were something that would severely hamper the enjoyment of my fellow movie-goers. Today, with Chappie releasing in the theaters, I decided to force myself to go. The plan was simple, Watch Kingsman, then watch Chappie, and then write reviews for both of them. Kingsman ruined that plan with an assist from that damnable pneumonia. Suffice to say, there was a scene that caused me to laugh so hard that I went into coughing fits, that then made me cough so hard that ...well, suffice to say further movies were not in my future. So, I will try and see Chappie tomorrow, despite what I saw on the Tomatometer.
That is neither here nor there. What is important, is the Kingsman. So, shall we begin?
The idea of Matthew Vaughn directing another creation of Mark Millar was enough to bring me to the theater. After the absolute joy that was Kick-Ass, how could I resist? So, I've been waiting to see this one ever since I saw the first trailer.
The wait was absolutely worth it.
What is Kingsman? Kingsman is, at its heart, I would say a spy film. This is the bastard child of James Bond and Kick-Ass. Adapted very loosely from the Mark Millar comic "The Secret Service", it tells the story of a top secret organization called "The Kingsman", that operate across the globe, saving the day from various terrorist operations. They operate so far in the shadows, that even when a member dies, their families can know nothing beyond the fact that they have died. But seriously, what more do you need to know beyond, Samuel L. Jackson is the villain? Seriously, if that doesn't draw you into the movie, I don't know what will...
There is a sort of exuberant violence that this movie shares with Kick-Ass, that transcends reality, and makes it feel like a comic book come to life. The movie offers up numerous iterations of this, each time seeming to up the ante, and turn something that would be absolutely appalling in real life, into a joyous affirmation of everything good in the world. The fight in the church alone is worth the price of admission. Everything beyond that, is just gravy. However, I will say that anytime Gazelle gets in on the action, things get infinitely better. That is seriously a very unique sidekick, and her weapons of choice make for some amazing fights.
The movie also manages to get in some decent social commentary. It has nothing nice to say about the rich and their superiority complex. Likewise, it has a sort of biting rebuke of the over-proliferation of cell phones and other technology. Unlike films like say... Elysium, the commentary isn't constantly beating you over the head every time you blink. Which is nice. And, like every other social commentary I see, it is quite possible that I am only seeing what I want to see. However, considering the elaborate evil plot, I think the anti-technology message is there...
The movie isn't perfect. The accents and the lisp can make dialog a little difficult to understand at times, and there were times when I really wished there were subtitles. The McDonalds product placement makes me a little sad, but that is mostly because of my animosity for those golden arches.
In the end, the film is a fun early year escape. It offers the popcorn movie experience during a time of the year when studios are routinely dumping their embarrassments. It was a quite satisfying experience, and I can't wait to get it on Blu-ray to watch it, and what I hope will be an excellent gag reel.
RECOMMENDATION: The film is for anyone that loves spy movies, but think they should offer more over-the-top violence. It's got the cool bond gadgets, the snappy suits, and even offers up what could be seen as a Bond Girl-esque moment. The movie itself could almost be seen as a love story to the Bond Movies of the past.
IS IT THEATER-WORTHY?: Yes. The action sequences (Specifically the church scene, and the "fireworks") played out wonderfully up there on the big screen. I'm sure they will play well on the small screen, but this film offers enough spectacle that it was totally worth it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The film was fun, and offered up a welcome respite from the cold and snow. Very much worth the time and money to see this. Hell the movie was so enjoyable, it was worth the coughing fits. Considering how bad those have been.... That says a lot.
FINAL SCORE: 8.5 out of 10
TRAILER: (RED BAND TRAILER)