Adapted from Mark Millar’s comic book, Kingsman: The Secret Service is the first comic book movie adaption of 2015, with Matthew Vaughn, knocking it out of the park with a movie that is likely to remain among the year’s best come the end. It’s funny, with plenty of humour to be had, boasting some of the most gloriously over-the-top action sequences that you’ll find in a comic book film, as it feels like a successful blend of Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and James Bond that continues to prove just why Vaughn is one of the strongest comic book directors out there right now, capable of putting out films that match both Christopher Nolan’s and Joss Whedon’s efforts in terms of quality.
Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine and more, Kingsman: The Secret Service doesn’t take itself seriously. There are plenty of jokes, some less offensive than others, and that drew instant laughs from the near-full crowd at the screening that I went to. The story follows young “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), a youth who, after stealing a car from the friends of his abusive step-dad, winds up on the verge of going to jail only to be saved due to his father’s connections with the Kingsman spy organization. Eggsy finds himself recruited by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an old-school spy who’s part of the Kingsman organization that is looking for new recruits. Eggsy soon finds himself taken to a mansion not unlike that used in X-Men: First Class, where he is forced to compete with various other trainees, all from more upper-class backgrounds than Eggsy, whose only friend is fellow competitor Roxy (Sophie Cookson) as they try to become new Kingsman, under the guidance of their mentor, Merlin (Mark Strong). However, they soon find themselves racing against the clock, when they’re drawn into a battle to save the world from the villainous billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).
If you’re a fan of Kick-Ass and want more comic book movies with a similar level of humour, then Kingsman: The Secret Service is what you’re looking for. Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller is over the top fun with very few missteps and plenty of over-the-top action sequences that fans of The Raid will enjoy. The cast is impressive, with plenty of charisma to be had from newcomer Taron Egerton, and Colin Firth knocks it out of the park as the James Bond-esque figure of Harry Hart. Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as Richmond Valentine will get plenty of laughs as well, and Michael Caine plays the role of the leader of Kingsman, Arthur, pretty well indeed. There’s even a cameo from Mark Hamill.
Whilst the pacing of the film may not be entirely smooth, with a few rough edges here and there, that’s basically the only niggle that this reviewer had with Kingsman: The Secret Service. The highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and Fantastic Four have a lot of work to do if they want to match this movie in terms of awesomeness, with plenty of fun to be had along the way that quickly establishes this movie as the film to beat so far in 2015, and you’ll want to check this out as soon as you can, because chances are, you won’t regret it.