What’s up, my people. This is your man, “The Belser” back with another scathing review of Hollywood’s latest flicks. For those not in the know, I, The Belser, am a living, breathing index of pop culture knowledge. Those skills — useless in much else — have helped me tremendously in this venture. I love movies and I always try to steer my people in the right direction. Now if you enjoy my insight, feel free to hit me, follow me, mention me @TheBelser on Twitter and spread the word. (If not, keep that garbage to yourself. It doesn’t help anybody.)
Now, I was able to check this certain comic-book-to-film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, this past weekend and I have to say I dug the hell out of it…
This movie — heavily adapted by that Kick-Ass creator dude, Mark Millar, and some guy who just happened to draw The Watchmen, Dave Gibbons — follows a secret order of agents known as Kingsman, the new “knights of the round table”. Now, I can tell you, faithful parishioners, that close semblance to the comic shouldn’t hinder any enjoyment of the plot, one that sees the operators of the highest of secrecy; folks who are not affiliated with the government (to avoid red tape and bureaucracy), with a style just as smooth and impeccable.
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) plays their senior agent, Harry Hart (codename: Galahad), who is tasked by his boss, Arthur (The Dark Knight‘s Alfred a.k.a. Michael Caine) to find a replacement for one of his recently killed fellow agents. His choice: A gifted British delinquent name Eggsy (newcomer Taron Egerton), who happens to be to the son of another killed Kingsman. After calling in a favor, Harry tells Eggsy about the secret agency itself, his late father’s work and the vacancy for a new agent. Eggsy and a group of other candidates enter the program which is set up to clear out the undesirables until there is a last man or woman standing.
At the same time, the Kingsmen are looking into the dealings of billionaire inventor/CEO Richmond Valentine (Nick Fury MF! …Samuel L. Jackson) and his henchwoman Gazelle, who have razor sharp prosthetic legs. Valentine has just announced a world-wide giveaway of his Valentine brand SIM cards that allow free phone calls and internet access to all citizens. However, Valentine’s motives are less than humanitarian as he is linked in the disappearances of VIPs including celebrities and government officials. Can Eggsy and the Kingsmen stop Valentine’s plot before it’s too late?
Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn goes back to his Brit roots (Layer Cake) with this one, packing an all-star cast of British actors. Firth plays Galahad with a cool exterior mixed with a hit of guilt of the death of his comrades. Egerton has a great big time debut as Eggsy. He comes off as the classic ‘diamond in the rough’ type: rough and snarky at first; but with the proper guidance, he can make something of himself. Kingman also featured great supporting roles from Sir Michael Caine and Mark Strong (Sinestro from G.L.) as Merlin, the Kingsmen’s ‘Q’ if you will.
But! The most unusual yet interesting of the roles is Sam Jackson as the main villain, Valentine. He’s portrayed as basically an evil, hip hop Steve Jobs — or was that former Def Jam head Russell Simmons? — with a very pronounced lisp. Whoever did the wardrobe for Sam needs an award, because he was fly as hell in his A.D.I.D.A.S. get-up every scene he was in.
Speaking of visuals, Kingsman is also one of the few British films to smother eyes with a modern sensibility. The movie still packs the usual UK charm we’re accustomed to, while packing the heavy tech we’ve witnessed in many of Vaughn’s films. Those (prosthetic) legs…
As for the writing, the film makes a number of spy movie references to the Bond and Bourne series, too. There’s even some nice nods to the Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd flick, Trading Places. There’s also a sly suspended reality element to the flick, making reference to current celebrities as being missing or otherwise indisposed.
The action scenes are amazing. Lots of great movie violence! Headshots. Broken bones. Blood. There is one particular scene in a church that’s probably one of the best non-stop action scenes I’ve seen quite some time. Yes, GHGers, The Belser said “church.” Now, sing it. However, as cool as the action in this flick, there are quite a few moments where the action comes across as just plain cartoonish or like a video game. Also, there are scenes that go all super cockney Brit in terms of dialogue and you have no clue what the hell they are saying.
The most important question of this review: Would I watch this again? Hell yes. It’s a cool escapist popcorn flick to those not trying to sit through Fifty Shades of Grey. Worth the money. As per GodHatesGeeks, I’m introducing a new element to BELSER MOVIE REVIEWS: The BELSER BIBLE. As the first flick with this distinction, Kingsman gets…