Parkour, Evil Babes On Blade Stilts, Secret Gadgets and Even Samuel Jackson With A Lisp, The New-Age Comic Spy Flick Kingsman: The Secret Service Has Everything.
ARTH VADER (AV):
Based heavily on the comic book series, Kingsman: The Secret Service
is officially listed as a “spy/action/comedy/film”. A film with a sense of humor and sense of itself, the movie ingrains itself to the audience as a smart, almost self-aware film. At more than one point in the film, actors in the film proclaim how “this ain’t that kind of film.” A spawn of the new age of comic-inspired story-telling in cinema, Kingman is fast, fun, and clever, quite like the comics published by Icon.
THE PONTIFICATOR (TP): This film is based of the comic series “Secret Service” which I collected and very much enjoyed. There have been some subtle changes made from the series to the film, but I can honestly say that when I watched the trailer for the first time, I recognized it as a screen adaption of the comics immediately, which speaks volumes to how closely the filmmakers tried to stay true to the comic representation.
CASTING, ACTING & DIRECTING
: With a strong, veteran cast, Kingsman is solid entertainment. Colin Firth as Galahad is just stellar and Mark Strong as Merlin was terrific. And mad props to sci-fi super-fan-boy favorite, Mark “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” Hamill
as Professor Arnold. These three gentlemen came together to deliver a solid performance and brought the caliber of a well-crafted film and a superb screenplay to a level of awesome few films get to enjoy. Director Matthew “X-Men: First Class” Vaughn’s visual storytelling compliments the film’s try and genre magnificently. Excellent cinematic endeavor wouldn’t you say, Pontificator?
This film was well cast and well acted for what it was meant to represent Vader…namely a comic adaption of a spoof on the James Bond
genre. Colin Firth
played an excellent role as the emotionally invested mentor of Lee (Jonno Davies
in his first major film role). Mark Strong
was great in his supporting role as was the well established Michael Caine
and beautiful Sofia Boutella
. I think Samuel L. Jackson
was just added for star power, but you really can’t go wrong with him…despite the shallowness of his role.
ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
AV: A very smart array of visual effects helps make this movie even cooler than it’s idea. This movie did something I have NEVER seen before, and to me, that is the earmark of greatness—success or failure. The in-church fight scene is so action-packed, so infused with choreographed fighting with mind-bending cinematography, you have to take a deep breath after the scene ends. Really. It is that good. When visual effects make me say “…wow that was cool” to myself, well… thats the definition of good effects. To put the cherry on top, it is possible to watch this whole film and not truly even notice the effects they are so seamlessly integrated into the storytelling. That, my friend, is the right stuff.
TP: If “over-the-top” was an official classification of effects, this film had that ad nauseam. Although I enjoyed the film and effects, I was literally sitting in the theater saying to myself…”no” as I could not believe how absolutely extreme some of the scenes were (as noted by the Dark One above). There is certainly something to be said for the similarity in the graphic comic presentation, and the duplication of that presentation in film. The 3D was used well, but it is getting to be a habit for me to feel like more could be made of using 3D in films.
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK
AV: Graphic novel adaptations have a checkered past in hollywood. Whether we’re talking the Men in Black franchise, Watchmen, Kick Ass or R.I.P.D., the graphic novel/comic book adaptation is a money making prospect for studios but hit-or-miss for content. Kingsman is a breed apart and can be considered as good as one of the best graphic novel adaptations. It shows how an action/comedy/adventure/spy thriller can entertain, delight and leave us wanting more. Gritty, senses-gripping action makes this film exciting. The characters and screenplay make it a must-watch. My only pause was the mousey or subservient nature of every single female character in the film. This of course, gives us the opportunity to do a more engaging female arc in coming films. Regardless, Kingsman is by far the best film I have seen so far this year. Ponty?
TP: Heh… the year is still young Vader. This film was an obvious spoof on the James Bond series of films although the comic books never felt like that when reading them. Despite the insanely over-the-top gore in the effects, I found myself having extreme fun while watching it. I imagine many people that saw this film were not accustomed to the thick British accents throughout the film, but being an avid watcher of BBC America…I was right at home. I think if there was a template for a super spy spoof film that didn’t take itself too seriously, but still delivered some serious fun, this film fits that mold perfectly.
AV: If there’s more in the store for Kingsman, I’m buying. This movie was solid entertainment, with a screenplay as smart as it was quirky. I could sit through a new Kingsman film every 20-24 months and enjoy it MUCH more than a Fast & Furious flick. Seriously. Action, adventure, comedy, social commentary and visual effects like a boss? Hell’s yeah, sign this brother up for 10 more just like it.
TP: Of course they could continue the story beyond the books and make entertaining spy spoof films from now until whenever…but there is something to be said for doing a story just right, and leaving it to stand on it’s own merits.
ARTH VADER rates Kingsman: The Secret Service: Truly a great film for action and spy flick lovers. If you like your films fun, your script witty and your action non-stop then I have no idea why you are still in your seat. Kingsman: The Secret Service is the type of movie Hollywood–and audiences–desperately need more of. It sets the pace for the genre and delivers an experience we have all too little of in films these days… a good one. So Kingsman: The Secret Service suits up with nine (9) very well-groomed and deviously-outfitted busted blocks.
THE PONTIFICATOR rates Kingsman: The Secret Service: Knowing the source material well, I was happy to see how successfully it transitioned to the silver screen. I think the effects being extremely graphic while the acting being a bit campy was the perfect blend of fun and entertainment... killing eight (8) busted blocks for King and country.
Kingsman: The Secret Service – 8.5 / 10 Busted Blocks