I don’t think it’s a particularly popular view to consider a film to be “okay”, but that’s exactly what I would consider The Kingsman. It was a film I had high hopes for that didn’t live up to those and it made me question why I’d had high hopes. I loved Kick-ass and I loved X-Men: First Class and thus I thought Matthew Vaughn would create another film that I would love. The Kingsman made me rethink those two films and I concluded their okay films with a few great performances and very solid editing. Now, to get to the problems with this film.
The Kingsman in many ways just tried too hard. The film is a lampoon of Bond films, but not in the way Austin Powers did it, it’s like all of the films of our current era it wants its cake and it wants to eat it to. Our current post-post modern society not only winks at its own cleverness, but then says watch me make a film that’s better than that one. This film is similar to Cabin in the Woods in that respect, but instead of horror films this s about Bond. The problem is, mainly, it’s not better than the Bond films.
The action in the Kingsman is ugly and artificial and not just the CGI, but because the comic bookesque cartoonish nature of it. It’s fast moving, but in a non-excitable way and it doesn’t feel like any of the people fighting are people. Colin Firth transforms into a different, human and instead of it trying to be funny; it’s taken with utmost seriousness. Samuel L. Jackson is over the top and quirky, for seemingly no reason and for jokes that don’t hit. I didn’t find it funny that the conceit of the film is the fact that a guy develops a plan for the world to bloodily kill themselves is also afraid of blood and violence. It’s not funny the badass super villain has a lisp. The film also tries to be like a Mel Brooks film, with very meta jokes that never land in the slightest. The film feels very flat and forced, which is concerning. That aside there is fun to be had in the film.
Taron Egerton is actually quite good in the film although he is miscast. Colin Firth as always bring it and especially plays a character whose charm is very surface level and is busting at the seems. Sophie Cookson is awesome as Roxy because she doesn’t allow herself to become some dumb bimbo and actual appears to belong in this world despite her stupid fear of heights for a person who joins the most elite fighting unit in the world. The all out brawl in the church and generally the second half of the film picks up in a very exciting way and leads to the film essentially breaking even.
Ultimately I’d say the film once again is simply okay. I unfortunately now have the knowledge that there maybe more of these, of which I may or may not see, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone liking or wanting to see this film. The film unfortunately in the end is remarkably surface level and I find it to be a film I will more than likely forget in the coming weeks.
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