California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    ‘Kingsman’: a ‘Spy Kids’ for Adults

    Movie Critic Evan Engel gave the 129-minute film, released on Feb. 13, three out of five possible stars.

    Three words: Not that bad. As we steadily endure what may be the slowest time during the year for film, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” proves that not all movies right now are completely terrible.

    With a distinctive style in every shot, director Matthew Vaugh not only presents a pleasurable viewing experience but also succeeds in furthering the spy genre in general.  Some of his past works include “Snatch”, “Kick-Ass” and “X-Men: First Class.” Undoubtedly, there are resemblances from these past movies that Vaughn implemented into “Kingsman.” These are what made it a very fun and worthwhile film to see.

    The story revolves around Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), a promising yet misunderstood street kid who is recruited into a spy agency’s ultra-competitive training program after one of their knights is killed.  Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, a bad-ass agent who does nothing but fight like a mad man. For Firth, this role was not something he usually does. By the end, he honestly comes through as an action star.

    While Eggsy is enduring intense training at the agency (such as attempting to find a way out of their staying quarters when the room is suddenly filled to the top with water), an evil tech genius begins to emerge. Played by Samuel L. Jackson, billionaire Richmond Valentine creates a universal SIM card that is available to the world for free. With everyone receiving cards, he intends to rid the world of its virus (or people in general) by activating the cards and forcing everyone around to become violently insane.

    If there were ever a “Spy Kids” for adults, this film would be the perfect example. When writing a spy film, it becomes very difficult to avoid those beloved clichés all good spy movies were built upon. “Kingsman” even pays homage to the great 007 agent James Bond.

    The reason why this film wasn’t like the rest of them was due to its capability to take those clichés and actually make fun of them in the context of the dialogue.

    There’s even a line in there when Valentine says, “This is the part of the movie where I tell you my whole plan.”

    It may seem childish to throw a line like that in, but it genuinely works with this film.  The filmmakers decided to give his character a lisp as well, and it made it even funnier to watch.

    Every fighting sequence is another aspect to praise. In fact, each fight was the most creative thing about the movie.  The sequences are never dull, although there are only a select few.  The camera works rapidly while the actors are beating the crap out of each other.  I just hope Colin Firth went to the gym once or twice to prepare for the high activity level.

    There are a few curveballs and unexpected cameos throughout the film.  The talented Michael Caine plays Arthur, the leader of the Kingsman. Mark Strong (who has worked with Vaughn before on “Kick-Ass”) played Merlin, a senior Kingman who is in charge of the training. Jack Davenport and Mark Hamill appeared in the movie during select scenes as well.

    There were a few problems with the flick that are hard to get over. For instance, there are these agent glasses that Colin Firth uses throughout which allow him to see who the bad guys are.  The film never explains why or how they can perform the task.

    Another moment hard to accept was a scene when the group of trainees have to work together during a sky and are told one of them doesn’t have a working parachute. While it must have been a hard scene to shoot, they could have still approached it differently.  Also, there’s some pretty obvious product placement that you can only laugh at when you see how it’s presented.

    Overall, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was made to fulfill one purpose and one purpose only: to give the viewer a fun and exciting good time. Director Matthew Vaughn continues to step the spy genre game up, all while he maintains a reputation with a unique style in his art.  While the next couple months are difficult to find good movies, “Kingsman” may be one of the few worth seeing for now.

    Evan Engel
    Staff Writer
    Published February 25th, 2015