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Wick's Review

Created Mar 07, 2015 12:19AM PST • Edited Jan 15, 2022 05:48PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    The same brilliant, depraved and amoral crew who brought us Kick-Ass have now delivered Kingsman: The Secret Service, another comic take on a well-trod movie topic. James Bond movies are the inspiration this time. The result is tremendously entertaining, albeit as sordid as it is sleek. And it is very sleek indeed.

    Kingsmen are a snooty spy service literally headquartered on London’s snooty Savile Row, with Colin Firth and Michael Caine running the show. Excellent casting, that. They must defeat a brilliant billionaire bad guy played by Samuel L. Jackson, another bit of excellent casting. Jackson slays, literally and figuratively.

    Writer/director Matthew Vaughn, screenwriter Jane Goldman and comic book author Mark Millar follow the same recipe they used for Kick-Ass: Gleefully embrace a familiar genre’s touchstones, throw in more than a little smart satire and punch the whole thing up to a savage level of violence. They’ve got it down.

    It helps that they have the wit to make their ├╝ber-villain a Climate Change crusader, going so far as to indict a backscratching cabal of environmental consultants and politicians. IOW, the movie is gleefully un-PC.

    Bring on the sequels!

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Colin Firth and Mark Strong are less than overwhelmingly impressive as the two primary Kingsmen. Par for the course for Firth, it’s a bit surprising for Strong.

    Firth is nonetheless well-suited to play an impeccably attired Savile Row spy, especially given that he’s not called upon to be sexy. James Bond he’s not, but he makes a perfectly acceptable denatured substitute.

    Strong plays his Q, perfectly acceptably if curiously unimpressively. Perhaps the script or direction let him down. Yet, the estimable Strong’s been in a bit of a slump recently, notably in The Imitation Game.

    Samuel L. Jackson damn near steals the movie as a Google Glass-wearing tech billionaire – with a lisp. The villain is the most important role in an action movie and the great Jackson makes this one fascinating and believably brilliant. The lisp? Nice touch.

    Taron Egerton jumps off-screen as a Kingsman legacy from the wrong side of the tracks. Egerton looks to be an incipient leading man, able to play upmarket and down, handle the action scenes, and be enough of a pretty boy that the ladies will eat him up. Stay tuned.

    Selected Members of the Huge Supporting Cast
    • Samantha Womack as Egerton’s single mom jumps off screen in less screen time than her cinematic son.
    • Sophie Cookson ranges from cold to hot as Egerton’s fellow aspiring Kingsman. She’s one to keep an eye on also.
    • Sofia Boutella cuts the most distinctive figure as Samuel L. Jackson’s deadly assistant, a literal blade-runner.
    • Mark Hamill is unrecognizable as a dotty Professor.
    • Michael Caine is impeccable as the Kingsman’s elder statesmen.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Outstanding film by Matthew Vaughn, from a screenplay he wrote with fave partner Jane Goldman, from their favorite comic book writers Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons. They include lots of nudge, nudge, wink, wink dialog about spy movies and spy movie conventions, which Kingsman apes and flouts. Brilliant!

    Visually bravura as much as anything: to wit, the opening scene cum intro-credits is simply monumental FX filmmaking. We shouldn’t be surprised, as Vaughn and Company are also the behind-the-camera talents behind the outstanding X-Men: First Class.

    Eye Catching Credit: Claudia Vaughn, Producer. Claudia Schiffer is Mrs. Matthew Vaughn.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.9

    The Princess Joke comes at the end, so to speak. More than a little of the ultra comes before, such that Kingsman makes A Clockwork Orange look like child’s play.

  15. Sex Titillating 2.0
  16. Violence Savage 3.7
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.0
  18. Surreal 2.9

    Reflecting its comic book origins, Kingsman sports a super-surreal rFactor, due to supernatural PhysioReality combined with highly surreal Circumstantial and BioReality.

    Suspension-of-disbelief aside, Islamists could be forgiven for looking at Kingsman and declaring that it’s the liberal West that’s taken leave of its moral bearings, not them. Operatic exploding heads – say no more.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Surreal 2.6
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.1

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