Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Kingsman: The Secret Service


I liked the story but hated the style. That’s the Coles Notes version of my review. The Kingsmen, a spy action movie about a London punk who is recruited into a spy organization, suffers from an identity crisis.

Its hard to tell who this movie was made for exactly. At the core, it is a goofy spy story that doesn’t take itself very seriously, which was evident from the moment there was a car chase in reverse. I mean, there’s a character who has swords for feet even. So this indicates that it was made for younger audiences. It has a familiar plot for those teenager adventures as films like Percy Jackson. But then the filmmakers counter that by loving to say “fuck” a lot and having really graphic violence. It doesn’t mesh.

Its too bad, because there were elements that gave this the potential to be a fun and likable movie. I rather liked all of the training segments where these young 20-somethings are competing for a position in the organization. I also liked quite a few of the characters. Even the basic premise of the secret organization was well conceived, as was the villain’s plot (sort of).

However, the movie is ruined by the director’s need to inject a lot of unnecessary gore and other questionable material into the film. I mean, the action films which were shot in a frenetic style were showing gunshots, people getting impaled on spears, ll kinds of nasty stuff. They would have worked just fine without that and would have fit the tone of the movie far better. But instead they feel like they were made by some hyper 17-year old who plays too many video games. There’s a scene set in a church which really goes overboard and had me hating the movie for a while. There’s also a ridiculous scene which involves exploding heads, even the president’s.

The sad thing is is that when the credits came up at the end and I saw that this was directed by Matthew Vaughn, everything made sense. He was the director of the despicable and tonally f’ed Kick Ass. And while this movie actually had some likable elements, its clear that the director couldn’t resist standing in his own way. I usually don’t care about ratings nor do I like it when decisions about a movie are made to fit certain rating parameters. However, this is one film I feel would have benefited from being PG-13.



3 Responses to “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

  1. Vaughn has a very wicked sense of humor and sometimes it doesn’t quite work. But for what it’s worth, the movie was fun to watch. Good review Ian.

  2. My wife and I enjoyed it except for the pointless stuff with the princess at the end. I can see your concerns and could really go both ways. The ridiculous violence was so ridiculous that I felt it fit with the goofiness of the movie. It could also have been toned down to more Bourne levels and been just as good (or maybe better). I think that had the violence been any more “realistic” then it wouldn’t have fit, but the way it was handled worked for me.

    I’m not really sure why the princess stuff bothered me after everything else, but it really just felt out of place and ended the movie in a weird place.

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