Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service

2014, Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick-Ass) -- download

As previously mentioned, Mark Millar has garnered some controversy in the comics world, primarily around his opinions on the use of rape as a motivational impetus, i.e. lazy, inconsiderate writing. Considering the rise in this conversation since its continued use on Game of Thrones, I was happy to see this was not a "dramatic tool" in this movie.

Vaughn obviously enjoys Millar's work, having previously done Kick-Ass, and there is a sense of *cough* fun to the way Millar uses violence. I admitted it one post back, that I am a *ahem* fan of violence, well, if depicted well. This movie is surprisingly more about the fun than it is about the violence. But boy, does it have some violence.

I haven't read the comic. But that is not surprising. I have to admit, I am a post-comics reader. I have about 8 long boxes sitting on the floor in the computer room which I am avoiding gleaning the keepers from. By eliminating them, I have this horrid feeling of leaving some of myself behind. I will be that guy who Used to Read Comics. Alas, I will probably continue to read some, albeit in digital format. Shame.

So, the movie. Colin Firth is a more prim, proper James Bond in a society structured around Arthur's roundtable. He is tasked to replace a murdered operative and recruits the man's son, a chav named Eggsy. Firth's Galahad is as much about manners and proper behaviour as he is about incredibly skilled violence. Oh, the scene in the pub when he teaches the bad boys some manners is worth the price of the download. Its kind of hilarious seeing Firth take on this role, a very slimmed down Firth who finally tamed his unruly hair with product. He is well spoken action instead of stammering romantic.

They are going up against an American industrialist with a world-ending Evil Plan, phoned in by Samuel L Jackson. He has already played this over the top, colourful villain in a dozen other movies.  If anything caps this performance, its the character's self awareness. After the jaw dropping depiction of the Evil Plan (Galahad kills a church full of people) as Jackson beta tests it, which ends with another jaw dropper of a "No Mr. Bond, this is where you die..." scene. The violence was enough of a shocker but the end of that scene was startling.

The climax of the movie has our newly trained operatives invading the mountain stronghold of the villain. If he didn't like to be compared to stereotyped villains, he should have skipped the mountain stronghold decorated like a 60s lair complete with uniformed mooks. The ending stretches reality thin into the 4-color comic world, with an unexpected BOOM of humour. But still, I rather enjoyed it.

I do have to go find the comic now....