Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service is based on the comic book The Secret Service written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

The movie starts off with an undercover mission in some Middle eastern country, Harry Hart, a.k.a. “Galahad“‘s (Colin Firth) mistake puts the life of entire team at risk. A probationary agent sacrifices himself to save his team. Riddled by guilt Galahad personally delivers a bravery medal to the agent’s widow and his young son, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. The protocols don’t allow Galahad to explain the event which led to the death of the agents, so Galahad offers a favor that if they ever need help, they should call the phone number on the back of the medal and deliver a coded message.

Seventeen years later, Professor James Arnold (Mark Hamill) is kidnapped by unknown assailants, led by billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) and his henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), a amputee with bladed prosthetic legs. One of Galahad’s colleague, “Lancelot” attempts to stage a rescue, but he is murdered by Gazelle.

Back in London Eggsy(Taron Egerton) has grown up to be unemployed young adult living with his mother, infant half-sister and an abusive stepfather. After being arrested for stealing a car and facing a jail term of 18 months, Eggsy calls the number on the back of the medal to claim the favor. Not knowing what would happen, Eggsy is surprised when he is released from prison.

With the death of Lancelot, the agency has a vacancy, based on tradition the current members have to recommend one candidate each. Galahad tries to convince Eggsy to be his candidate but Eggsy refuses the offer and returns home only to be abused by his stepfather. Galahad rescues Eggsy and Eggsy decides to apply for the post left vacant by Lancelot. He joins a group of other candidates who were nominated by other officers of Kingsman. Eggsy quickly befriends Roxy (Sophie Cookson). Their training is supervised by Merlin (Mark Strong), a kingsman.

Meanwhile Arthur (Michael Caine) hands over Lancelot’s mission assigned to Galahad. While Galahad investigates the case, the newly recruited trainees vie for the spot left behind by Lancelot.

What works out right:
Right from the moment I heard Dire Straits song Money for Nothing (which is at the beginning) till the end, the movie is fast paced. It has right mixture of action, comedy, gadgets and emotions. Kingsman: The Secret Service pays a tongue in check homage to lots of movie. Based on the movies I could recognize there were homages to James Bond movies, Star Trek, The Recruit and Dog Soldiers.

Acting wise Colin Firth as Harry Hart/Galahad and Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond Valentine, a billionaire philanthropist who speaks with a lisp and has a weak stomach for blood and violence steal the job. Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin and Mark Strong as Merlin are steady. Michael Caine as King/Arthur and Sophie Cookson as Roxy don’t have much to do, but it was nice to see Michael Caine try something different.

The action scenes are pretty interested, some times they are fast and some times the scenes are slow giving user a detailed look at the action. This blending of fast and slow fights really adds value to the movie. Most of the funny moments in the movie had people laughing and there were even people clapping for few of the dialogues.

All in all, Kingsman: The Secret Service will end up being one of the must watch movies of this year. I am also pretty sure it will remain in the list of “Highest-grossing films of 2015“. There is a hint in the movie that there could be sequels. I have my finger crossed and am hoping for a sequel.


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