I thought that I was just going to to watch another typical “James Bond” spy movie but, oh boy, was I in for one heck of surprise! Kingsman: The Secret Service deviates from the “textbook” spy movie by adding in more than just a pinch of humor with an equal amount of stylish fight scenes. Oh, and don’t forget the sleek and intriguing spy gadgets that come along with the secret agents as well. You know these agents mean business when they look ever-sharp in their suit-and-tie ensembles while kicking stereotypical villain butt.
We open with a flashback of a group of Kingsman agents interrogating a captured enemy combatant somewhere in the Middle-East. Intent on extracting information in the politest way possible, team-leader, Galahad, fails to notice a hidden booby trap, causing agent Lancelot to sacrifice himself to save the team. Galahad conveys his condolences to Lancelot’s widow and presents her son, Eggsy, with a medal-of-honour engraved with a number on the back to call should the family ever need help.
Fast-forward 17 years, and Eggsy is now all-grown up. However, coming from a broken family with an abusive step-father, Eggsy faces many difficulties and setbacks that makes his life miserable and aimless. After being arrested for a car theft incident, Eggsy finally decides to call the number. Galahad bails him out and tries to recruit him into the secret organisation of Kingsman, like his father before him. Meanwhile, a billionaire media mogul going by the name of Valentine puts in motion a Malthusian-inspired plan to wipe out the majority of the world’s population. And so begins Eggsy’s journey from just another troubled English yob to a fully-fledged gentleman secret agent.
Kingsman was a thoroughly exhilarating movie experience. I really felt that the movie had done a stupendous job of putting itself in a league of its own in the spy movie genre. It was a laugh-riot of British humor that felt really fresh for me, Not only that, I couldn’t bear to take my eyes off the screen for a split-second lest I miss even a moment of the awesome fight choreography involving the agents and Valentine’s female henchman with moves to die for.
Although the movie was 2 hours long, nothing felt draggy. Instead, the movie was well paced, deftly balancing frenetic action with patient backstory build-up. Skillful storytelling moved plot and character development forward without giving away too much too soon, keeping me on the edge of my seat in every scene.
Personally, I felt that this movie was particularly appealing as I was able to identify with the main character, Eggsy. A young adult at a loss over what to do in life, he miraculously turns his whole life around by realizing the potential he had within himself all along. All he needs is someone to guide him onto the right path, and polish his talents rather than pick on his flaws. It is a heartwarming assurance that there are people in this world who can turn over a new leaf, given the right opportunity and proper guidance.
Kingsman: the Secret Service refreshes the tired old cliches of the spy movie genre without sending it up a la ‘Austin Powers’. It promises lots of great fight sequences; a thoroughly unhinged villain putting in motion a ludicrous plot; and stylish heroes who can do the dirtiest work with panache while still maintaining the restrained charm of the perfect English gentleman.These plus lashings of visual humour and moments of heart-stopping action make this movie really easy on the eye, while not being too taxing on the brain.