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If there ever was a movie for which the adjective “mind-blowing” would be appropriate, then this would be it.
Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) who gets recruited by super secret spy Harry Hart/Gallahad (Colin Firth).
The film plays on the traditional/old-fashioned spy movies and refers to those frequently. You have your megalomaniac who seeks to change the world through “questionable” means, the gentleman super spy who can kick ass in a bespoke suit, and the young recruit looking to prove himself.
Pretty straightforward and simple, right?
The shocker for me was not in the fact that Colin Firth–the quintessential, gentleman, the man whom other men have to live up to no thanks to his Mr. Darcy role–could plausibly disarm and bring down an entire congregation of people. The shocker for me was the violence.
The local R-16 was lenient, in my opinion. But then again my judgment could be tainted by my teacher ways, so let me rephrase that.
Kingsman takes the word “secret” to a while new level. It had disguised itself as a thoroughly proper and respectable and sort of generic spy movie with the added twist of the secret agency literally being super secret that not even the world’s most popular secret service agencies knew about their existence. They were like the Illuminati except that they were the good guys. The lack of dark overtones in the film processing* and the very few but appropriately placed humorous moments gave one the impression that THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE HORRIFIED ABOUT.
(I’m sorry. The font size was necessary for this.)
In a good way.
I’m not quite sure how “horrified in a good way” works, so let me just ramble a bit.
You know how the James Bond movies or other super spy movies always look gritty on screen or have these dark gray or blue color overlay (someone with film tech know-how help me quick!) to emphasize the dankness and the seriousness of the film? WELL, Kingsman was all oranges and yellows and blues and greens and purples. It was colorful. It was bright. It was clean. It was so neat you’d be afraid of eating flavored popcorn for fear of soiling your fingers.
PLUS Colin Firth was such a perfect and poised gentleman that when he finally brought out the moves your mouth just drops and you find yourself leaning forward in your seat while cringing or cowering or all of the above.
Mind-blowing? Definitely. LITERALLY, even.
Secretive? You bet. Who the hell knew Mr. Darcy could move like that? Who the hell knew he could disarm, dismember, behead, maim, kill people with the speed and agility of a champion martial artist and the poise of an aristocrat?
Who knew Samuel L. Jackson could be more annoying than ever? (personal bias, sorry. Not a big fan of the dude)
Who knew a more violent mainstream movie than Kill Bill could exist?
This movie isn’t all about the shock factor, though.
Once you get past the blood and gore and the impeccably tailored suits, you realize that movie makes some pretty compelling points.
One: we humans are the disease killing our planet. What happens when the body gets infected by a virus? The body gets feverish in an attempt to get rid of the virus. Bottomline? The virus dies. Mother Nature is the body, global warming is the fever, and we are the virus. WE die.
Some people might think this is just trivial in an action movie, but, for me, the analogy makes so much sense that it’s hard to ignore. I’m not going to wait for a Richmond Valentine to come and help Mother Nature along. None of us should.
Two: Women. I was going to say that women play a huge role in this film until I realized that there were only two major female characters here, and even then they were only in supporting roles. Roxy and Gazelle were pretty badass, but they still play second-fiddle to the men. Although the movie shows that women are just as competent (MORE, even) as men, the movie also shows that they still need to be tempered by the men. Roxy needed Eggsy to calm her down before the skydiving exercise. Gazelle was too bloodthirsty that she needed Valentine’s weak stomach to rein her in from shedding more blood. I’d personally like to see a movie where both hero and villain are female, and I’d like for this to be a serious movie and not a comedy like what we usually have here locally (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah comes to mind even though technically the protagonist is a guy).
Three: Times are a-changing. Gadgets, particularly our smartphones, can be mankind’s downfall.
There really is so much about this movie that one can say. Colin Firth was perfect. Whatever doubt I had that he could move like a lean mean killing machine flew out the window when I saw his action sequences. Taron Egerton was just as amazing. I’d have wanted to see him do more parkour, though. Roxy was underdeveloped. I wish we had seen more of her spy abilities. Gazelle was just absolutely wicked.
*I’m not a film expert, so I don’t know the terminology.