Kingsman: The Secret Service Review
"Eggsy" (Taron Egerton; The Smoke) is a young man from the "wrong side of the tracks" who never fully lived up to his potential despite being physically agile and very intelligent. Unbeknownst to him, Eggsy's father was killed while he was a member of the Kingsman service. When Eggsy calls in a favor, he finds himself under the tutelage of Harry "Galahad" Hart (Colin Firth; The King's Speech, Before I Go To Sleep), another Kingsman who owes his life to Eggsy's father.
On the plus side, the acting is terrific. Firth plays the gentlemanly, British spy perfectly with his suave demeanor shining through. Egerton holds his own among a group of older, talented actors. Michael Caine is well cast as Arthur, the head of the Kingsmen (think of M from James Bond) and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Avengers) is great as the villainous yet comical Valentine, a billionaire with thoughts of "cleansing the population in order to counteract the effects of global warming" (similar to the plot of Dan Brown's Inferno). In this role, Jackson plays a much different character than we are used to seeing from him, which is refreshing; although, his lisp can get a little annoying. Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) rounds out the cast as Merlin and there is a great but briefly on screen character portrayed by Mark Hamill (Star Wars) which was a nice surprise.
On the negative side, the problem with Kingsman is that it has a bit of an identity crisis. While it tries hard to be a James Bond type film it also includes elements of Inspector Gadget and Austin Powers with a dash of Kill Bill thrown in. It attempts to be sophisticated yet cartoonish all at the same time and, for me at least, it didn't really work at times. Much of the sillier moments came across campy and distracted the viewer. While there were elements of director Matthew Vaughn's (X-Men: First Class, Layer Cake) previous works, there were also moments of departure from his tried and true formula it was at these moments the film took you out of "fantasyland" and back to reality.
Every year it seems that the quality of Digital HD is getting better and Kingsman: The Secret Service propels this quality forward with gentleman poise and dignity. The almost Blu-ray like quality of the 1080p picture is perfect in every-way. The colors are crisp, the black levels are strong, and the action scenes are not blurred. While Digital HD does suffer from not having a DTS Lossless soundtrack the AC-3 audio in the film still shined through enveloping the room in the action.
Aside from the fantastic film, the iTunes Digital copy also includes an hour and a half of extras, giving you some very deep insight about the creation and the process of making the Kingsman film as well as the iconic comic book.
After revisiting Kingsman: The Secret Service on Digital HD, I would have to say that I enjoyed it more than I did in the theater. The combination of action, witty dialog, and the classic "Bond" atmosphere makes this the movie to watch over and over again.
[Some excerpts from this review are from the 2015 theatrical review of Kingsman: The Secret Service]
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 129 minutes
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Read More Reviews For Kingsman: The Secret Service
- Allison Hazlett-Rose (B) (Theatrical Review)
About Allison Skornick-Rose
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