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Spoiler Free Quick Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

 

 
Overview
 

Stars: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson
 
Theatrical Release Date: February 13, 2015
 
Synopsis: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
 
Related Product: The Secret Service: Kingsman
 
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The Good


  • Colin Firth is nearly perfect
  • Brilliant moments of action and comedy

The Bad


  • The main character is severely outshined by Firth's
  • The film is a little too bipolar, and frequently crosses the line into the absurd


Bottom Line

Colin Firth is the perfect gentleman spy in Kingsman: The Secret Service, but the film often fails to tread the line between over-the-top fun and absurdity.

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Posted February 16, 2015 by

 
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This quick review is spoiler-free.

Kingsman: The Secret Service reminds me of the 2005 King Kong remake; whenever Kong was on screen, I really enjoyed the movie, and whenever he wasn’t, well… I didn’t. Colin Firth is Kingsman’s Kong.

At its core, Kingsman is an action spy movie that refuses to take itself too seriously. It has car chases, super suave secret agents, amazing spy gadgets, physics-bending fight scenes, an endearing mentor/mentee relationship, and an over-sized dose of humor.

In order to keep this review spoiler-free, I can’t expand on much of what makes Kingsman tick. I can say that Colin Firth plays his gentleman super spy role to near perfection. His mix of near-super human ability and understated humor provides a balance that works very well.

Unfortunately for Kingsman, Firth isn’t always on screen, and it quickly becomes clear that the film can’t walk the tightrope between over-the-top action and absurdity without him. When left to his own devices, the main character, who is Firth’s recruit and trainee, loses most of his luster. It’s not his fault really. He’s just… not Colin Firth.

I enjoyed the first half of Kingsman quite a bit. But when Firth’s sidekick is allowed to spread his wings in the second half, the film crosses over into parody territory, going so far as to openly mock itself more than once. That not only left a bad taste in my mouth, it made my wife declare the movie “just plain dumb.”

I don’t want this review to sound overly harsh; we have good friends who thoroughly enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service. And honestly, assuming you’ve already seen the winter blockbusters like American Sniper and Big Hero 6, you’ll be hard pressed to do much better during the current theatrical drought. Kingsman is certainly a better film than Seventh Son and Jupiter Ascending. Just keep your expectations in check when you take your seat.

A final word of warning: Kingsman earns its R rating with flying colors. While the violence isn’t any worse than your average episode of The Walking Dead, there is a lot of it. The only thing the movie might have more of is F-bombs. There is also some sex humor and brief nudity. You’re going to want to leave the kids at home for this one.


Tim Wells

 
Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.