Film – Kingsman The Secret Service – cor, phwaor, get in son!
Jacked up on teenage Viagra and nonsensical chavvy entertainment, director Matthew Vaughn drags the Eton educated James Bond trope into the grueling, comedic and fun cesspit that it the London council estate.
We follow Eggsy as he transforms from the sort of delinquent seen trashing the streets of London in 2011 into a spy operating with the utmost discretion – The Kingsmen – of which his father was a member. Trained by the sophisticated and suave Harry Hart (Colin Firth), Eggsy must stop Samuel L. Jackson’s maniacal and lisp stunted Valentine from culling the human race.
Two words come to mind when describing Kingsman: ‘fun’ and ‘phwaor’. Whilst the latter word may be heard from the mouths of fat British builders at passing cougars the former is one that is apparent and consistent throughout the feature. Kingsman just wants to be fun. It wants you to enjoy your time in the cinema and it wants you to leave with iconic action sequences etched into your head. One particular Church sequence is unbelievable, unexplainable and will no doubt be talked about for years to come.
It has some major flaws, especially with underdeveloped characters and some incredibly poor visual effects but its positives are considerably more memorable.
Kingsman has fun with the audience as well as with itself. It knows what it is – and what it is, is a modern telling of the James Bond universe. Heroes come not from aristocrats but from council estates. Villains aren’t trying to rule the world, they’re trying to save it – in their own sick and twisted way. It has fun with gadgets and it has fun with spy movie clichés, of which there are a plenty.
But surprisingly the problem many people have with Kingsman is the ‘phwaor’. Some argue that one particular scene is gross, sexist, misogynistic and all kinds of feminist bollocks. At the end of the day, the same women complaining about the objectification of women have no problem cleaning out their pockets for 50 Shades of Grey just to get a ripe look at Jamie Dornan’s derriere.
Therefore, Kingsman is a ludicrously fun time at the theatre. It isn’t just a lad’s movie, it is for all sexes but certainly not for all ages. The action sequences are breathtaking, there is an emotional pivot and like all great spy movies it is chock full of ‘knew that would happen’ moments as well as twists and turns that genuinely shock and amaze. Just enjoy it without all the feminist and political piffle. That’s the way it was made and that’s the way we should view it.
Score – B+