Suitable for 15+!
Kingsman. Sounds like Kingsnews, but it’s actually a film that’s just come out at the cinema. From the guys that made “Kick Ass” comes this equally violent thriller film, only this time it’s not with superheroes – it’s with secret service agents, who go around the world foiling assassination attempts and world domination plots. Imagine Johnny English, only with more gore and less comedy. Starring household names like Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine, this film is disappointingly unoriginal and uninspired.
Now, you might think I don’t like it because it’s violent. Not true – the Die Hard films are my favourite film saga, and there’s nothing I like more than watching Bruce Willis being awesome and killing bad guys. However, the difference between the violence in Die Hard and the violence in Kingsman is that Kingsman is overly graphic and unnecessary. Good if you like that kind of thing, disgusting and off-putting if you don’t. But let’s put that aside for the moment and look at the actual plot.
Colin Firth discovers a diamond in the rough, a rare talent in working-class teenager Eggsy. In the world of the secret service, privately educated posh people dominate, but Eggsy’s gift for problem solving, teamwork and crime are a force to be reckoned with. These class themes were actually the highlight of the film, it’s a kind of rags-to-riches story and it highlights the elitism that is always present in British society. One of the only redeeming features of this film, in fact.
Anyway, the secret service organisation of “Kingsman” is trying to stop technology businessman Valentine (played hilariously by Samuel L. Jackson) from killing almost everybody on the planet. He justifies this by saying that humans are destroying the planet and must therefore be ‘culled’, like a pest. However, the people he chooses to save are his friends and other successful/wealthy people, again displaying the classism that plagues our society.
Alright, I concede defeat on this one. Samuel L. Jackson also helps to redeem this film. Well, him and Mark Strong, who has a voice like velvet in this film. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) was pretty well played, too. I thought his character was interesting and engaging. But, back to complaining. Colin Firth is playing the usual stoic British gent, and Michael Caine is surprisingly reserved and restrained in this film. However, I have bigger issues with the film’s characters. All of the female characters are ludicrously underdeveloped, and most of the major ones are photogenic (pretty), whereas this rule does not apply to the male characters. The film’s main female character is Valentine’s bionic assistant, and although she can fight, she doesn’t have the same complicated personality as her male boss. She is also beautiful and wears clothes to show this. It’s not just Kingsman that does this, it’s most films, but I suppose this added to my suspicion that the film was targeted at a male audience only.
IMDB gives this film 8.2 out of 10. But I’ve always been suspicious of IMDB – you have to question the group of people that are voting, and you’d probably find that they’re an isolated and small group of people. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching and researching this film, it’s not to trust IMDB ratings – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, after all.
Image from: http://www.cvm.org.uk/blog/reviews/kingsman-the-secret-service-15/