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Kingsman: The Secret Service (DVD)
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A dream is born
20th Century Fox’s story begins in a tiny theater on New York’s Lower East Side. In 1904, fresh from Hungary, 25-year-old William Fox amazed audiences with his magical hand-cranked films. The beginnings were humble – folding chairs, a painted wall for a screen – but the desire to entertain and move people has been at the core of what 20th Century Fox has been doing ever since. By 1915 Fox’s five-cent movie shows were wildly popular and his single screen grew first into a chain of 25 theaters around New York City and then into a movie making business.
A super-secret organisation recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a dire global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. A phenomenal cast, including Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine, lead this action-packed spy-thriller directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class).
Genres: Action | Drama | Thriller
MA15+ | 119 minutes
Cast and crew
- Matthew Vaughn
- Taron Egerton
- Michael Caine
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Mark Strong
- Colin Firth
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The old guard is dying off due to attrition. A new crop of recruits will be needed to fill their mission. Can a rambunctious upstart Eggsy (Taron Egerton) be the one?
We watch the selection process while all the time keeping an eye out for bad guys and nasty deeds.
It is a tad over done with potty mouth. However, this can be overlooked.
Yeah, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" -- based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons's comic book series -- could have been the biggest, most grotesque flop in years. Instead, it ends up being a quirky, clever spy thriller that uses all the cliches in fresh ways -- it has the updated villains and razor-edged violence of newer spy movies movies, combined with the style and Empire sensibilities of the older ones. Also, Colin Firth as a secret agent.
Smart but aimless, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin is like thousands of other working-class British youths -- he lives in a rotten little apartment with his neurotic mother and abusive stepfather, and has gotten in some scrapes with the law. The one unusual thing about him is that when his father died under classified circumstances, and a mysterious man named Harry Hart (Colin Firth) left him with a medal, a phone number, and a code phrase for if the Unwin family ever needed help.
When he's arrested for car theft, Eggsy calls the number and is promptly bailed out by Hart. He soon finds out that Hart isn't just an aristocratic gentleman -- he's a Kingsman agent who can easily take down a whole pub full of thugs. So when Eggsy is offered a new life as a Kingsman, he takes it immediately. There's only one opening, but his street smarts, kindness and intelligence put him far ahead of the Oxbridge-educated youths he's competing against.
While he's undergoing a grueling training regimen, the Kingsmen are investigating a plot involving a kidnapped professor, a dead Kingsman agent, and the lisping billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Celebrities and world dignitaries are going missing, and Valentine's plans for the world may be the most devastating ever. Can the Kingsmen — new and old — bring him down?
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a fascinating take on the whole secret agent cliche. It both subverts (Eggsy) and affectionately homages (Harry) the whole idea of the upper-crust secret agent who loves fine liquor, fine suits and dangerous missions -- and unlike many a homage, is entirely entertaining in its own right. This is the kind of movie where a diabolical villain has a giant cheesy prison where he keeps everyone who won't agree to his master plan!
And it has some gloriously over-the-top action scenes, including some Bond-style goons (including an acrobatic assassin with bladed prosthetic legs) and stylishly gruesome violence (flips, flying teeth, heads exploding with fireworks), which are glorious when handled with the sort of sleek, elegant style of the Kingsmen (one of them catches a glass of fine whisky in mid-fight because "It would be a sin to spill any"). Paired with that is a wicked sense of humor, such as a villain who plans to kill everyone on the planet... but can't cope with the sight of blood.
But it also has a surprising amount of substance, mainly by looking at the class system still unofficially in place in, among other places, England. The leader of the Kingsmen makes it clear that he wants "the right sort" to be these positions, and Eggsy has to complete with a bunch of people who have all the advantages in life. "... judging people like from your ivory towers, with no thought about why we do what we do." Kids like Eggsy can do great things, but only if given the opportunity.
What flaws does it have? Well, the whole "Kingsman education" sequence is skimmed over as quickly as they can manage (partly by putting Harry in a months-long movie coma), but it STILL kills all momentum going on in the movie. Things don't pick up again until Eggsy is almost finished.
The elder Kingsmen are a who's-who of beloved British actors -- Michael Caine, Mark Strong, and of course Colin Firth as a gloriously gentlemanly agent who can take out a whole pub full of thugs with only an umbrella and a watch. He has good fatherly chemistry with Taron Egerton, a brashly endearing youth who just needs a door opened to show off that he's smart (despite not knowing a pug from a bulldog), strong and compassionate. And of course, Jackson is clearly having the time of his life as an old-school destroy-the-world villain who serves McDonald's at his exclusive dinner parties.
Despite losing its way in the training montage, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" is a fun, wild adventure that blows a kiss to the old-timey spy thrillers, while also carving out a niche of its own with bladed feet. Smart, sleek and entertainingly violent.
Top international reviews
It follows a James Bond type theme but very much better.
Special effects are amazing and is filmed in 4K UHD. But if you haven't a 4K player a normal
Blu-Ray is provided too.
An ultraviolet code is also provided for use on other devices.