Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Kingsman: The Secret Service (Dir. Matthew Vaughan/2015)
It could be the new James Bond Jr. Kingsman: The Secret Service could champion the underdog and set the stage for a new type of hero. It could be the hero we relate to; the hero that disillusioned young men can aspire to be. This modern blockbuster can continue to fix the action-hero cliché-ills of the past – even 007 alluded to male-attraction in Skyfall, surely Kingsman can be ethnically diverse and socially-responsible. Instead, Kingsman: The Secret Service ignores the move forward and takes a step back. A spy-service led by Michael Caine is exclusively made up of white men and, only when recruiting, does a pretty blonde girl sneak through and gain employment. Spectacled Colin Firth is old-man suave-spy; a perfectly-suited mentor to the young ruffian, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), who – “like My Fair Lady” – is turned around. The memorable line, “Manners maketh man” precedes a fight whereby Firth promptly breaks noses and smashes faces. To “Matters Maketh Worse”, the big villain is Chav-clad, African-American Samuel L. Jackson, with a blade-runner double-amputee as henchwoman. The finale-heroes consist exclusively of white-men (The successful female-applicant is shot into space), but heaven forbid I cry social elitism. Did I mention the Kingsman agency are offspring of wealthy aristocrats? And Eggsy – the scallywag from the streets – was selected as his Dad was nearly a member? Yes, a little nepotism to sweeten the charm of this snobby action-flick. Funnily enough, I didn’t like, or relate to the heroes – despite expert action and bloody good violence.