Friday, February 13, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service - review

I got a chance to see Kingsman: The Secret Service today with my wife, as we both had the day off. I've actually read the comic book series by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, and I re-read them fairly recently, so the series is pretty fresh in my brain. Since I enjoyed the series, and the director, Matthew Vaughan, has done some pretty good movies, I figured that I'd like this one.

The basic premise is that there's a, well, um, "secret service" that handles various major crises in the world, and it has several James Bond-esque agents working for it. When one of them dies while on duty, it's time to recruit a new member to take his place. Harry "Galahad" Hart (as played by Colin Firth) decides to give his "nephew" Gary "Eggsy" Unwin a shot, as Eggsy has shown a lot of potential while still making some pretty poor lifestyle decisions like getting involved in drugs and crime.

The movie then goes back and forth between Eggsy's initiation and the villain's master plan. The villain is played by Samuel L. Jackson, who utilizes a slightly distracting lisp in order to make himself seem awkward and nerdy. By the third act, it all comes together, as it's up to Eggsy to foil the villain's plan to make a serious dent in the world's population in order to "save the planet".

Overall, it was pretty damned entertaining. There was one action scene involving sky diving where I had to remind myself to breathe. Also, the characters were all pretty likable, and while Taron Egerton, who plays Eggsy, I think that he has a pretty good future ahead of him as a leading man. While it didn't stick 100% true to the comic, it was definitely close enough. The basic plot was the same, as were the character personalities and overall theme behind the story. Only minor details were changed, which kept things interesting enough to keep me on my toes. Oh, and for anybody who enjoyed the bit with Mark Hammill in the comics, you'll be surprised but probably not disappointed with how they change that bit.

I have to say that it kinda lost me in the last act. I don't want to give away too much, but let's just say that CGI is good for some things, but it's absolutely lame for blood and guts. I kept thinking to myself that I was looking at computer effects, and that completely took me out of the movie. Also, there's a really cheesy bit of dialogue toward the end that's both unbelievable and obviously intended as nothing more than a cheap laugh.

I was worried that those complaints would ruin it for me, but when I think back on it, I definitely liked more than I didn't. I'd probably enjoy watching it again, and while I might not buy it right away when it comes out, I might pick it up if I see it cheap (unless it streams on Netflix).

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