Kingsman: The Secret Service


Acknowledging Bond movies, spy lore and it’s violent comic book roots Kingsman: The Secret Service finds director Matthew Vaughn in familiar territory doing what he does best – tell a rollickingly good story with plenty of style, irreverence and envelope pushing subversiveness.

Owing to it’s often ludicrous and exaggerated situations and larger than life villains, the spy genre has long been fodder for spoofs, though nearly all of them have been forgettable with the ones involving juvenile protagonists even less involving. From that perspective then, Kingsman is an outright accomplishment – not only is it a witty, often original parody (the dialogue about what the initials J.B. mean is priceless) but also because the main character of Eggsy as a young spy isn’t completely the product of cliché.

Eggsy finds himself in the midst of gentlemen when he encounters veteran spy Galahad (Colin Firth, in classy form) after a close brush with the law. Learning that his father was part of this super secret organization, fashioned on the Knights of the round table with Arthur, played by none other than Michael Caine, leading the men, Eggsy is offered the opportunity to join them. The obligatory training sessions follow, which drag the proceedings down to the familiar adversarial bouts of friction between Eggsy and the other candidates, while Sam Jackson’s lisping tech geek villain isn’t nearly as compelling as his character may have seemed on script, but Vaughn quickly recovers from these setbacks with an edgy, over the top third act that defies the acceptable norms of mainstream entertainment with shocking depravity.

Though it may seem to be made in the vein of his previous brutal superhero film (Kick Ass, also based on a graphic novel by Mark Millar) borrowing from the mythology of films as far off as Star Wars, it eschews formula by taking bold risks and packaging them into genuinely thrilling scenes. In a movie era that has found new love for and the re-relevance of master spy James Bond, thanks in no small part to the global success and deserved critical acclaim of Skyfall, this films attempt at lampooning could have gone either way and though it falters along the way, Kingsman is a welcome addition to the director’s list of accomplishments.  Vaughn invites you to come for the amusement of watching a satire of the genre, but makes you stay for the incredible fireworks at the end (you’ll know what I mean once you’ve seen it for yourself).

Rating: ★★★★☆

About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and