Tarantino meets Bond in Kingsman: The Secret Service

David Han, Contributing Writer

Kingsman: The Secret Service is clearly distinguishable from other spy films.  While most people are familiar with the names James Bond and Jason Bourne, Kingsman is relatively unknown.  However, it is a movie that stands out from the spy genre in both depth and breadth. Kingsman has been receiving outstanding reviews from movie websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB and might even reach the same level of fame as spy spoofs like Austin Powers.

Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) takes you on a thrilling adventure through the point of view of British teenager named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who struggles with the death of his father and the new tenant who is abusive towards him and his mom. Eggsy is eventually arrested for a misdemeanor committed by him and his friends, whom he refuses to rat out.  However, his life is turned around when a mysterious man who goes by Harry Hart (Colin Firth) gets him out of jail and introduces him to the secret spy world.  This eventually leads to many thrilling adventures and a new life for Eggsy who goes through many tests in order to become a “Kingsman” and eventually has to confront the evil mastermind Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).

Unlike the Bourne and Bond series, Kingsman takes on a slightly humorous tone as the hero, Eggsy, fights his way to save the world from Valentine.  It does not necessarily make fun of the spy genre as frequently as Austin Powers does, but it does contain elements critiquing the aging film genre, while also having a lot of fun.  The comedic parts of the film are mixed in perfectly with the action scenes, making this movie a real gift for adrenaline junkies and comedy fans.  The comedic element mixed with the action scenes makes almost every scene of the movie enjoyable.  This is all thanks to Vaughn’s stylistic direction.  For once, the action scenes are easy on the eyes, and viewers can tell who is throwing the punches.

However, some critics believe that the comedic parts of the film slightly dulled the plot’s suspense.  While the scenes are pretty suspenseful throughout the film, audiences may become less focused on the action scenes.  With comedy mixed into the beginning of the scene, audiences find themselves feeling emotionally unprepared when a person unexpectedly gets cut in half during it.  Another scene in which violence is tempered with comedy includes heads exploding into colorful powder as celebratory music plays in the background.  Clearly, Kingsman is not trying to be a Bond flick.

The action scenes in Kingsman are clearly distinguishable from scenes in other spy and action movies.  Unlike most action films where the fight scenes often have quick cuts, the fight scenes in Kingman had top notch visual effects and the choreography of the action scenes were outstanding and highly detailed.  Many others also say that Kingsman has revived action movies because while action movies these days are of low quality with shaky cameras and quick cutting of scenes, Kingsman’s action scenes show the small details in the fights and uses silky smooth camera work throughout the film.  The movie’s technically keeps the audience from questioning what is happening in the scenes, something that makes the film stand out more from the Hollywood action bunch.

One of the main highlights of the film was Samuel L. Jackson as villain Valentine, whose main goal is to try to end global warming  but through sadistic means such as fights to the death and population control.  With his thick lisp added to his comical personality, Jackson makes the perfect villain for this action-comedy film which contradicts his goals for reducing the human population.  His character also conducts unexpected acts of villainy, that take the audience by surprise throughout the film. Because of this, Kingsman is very unpredictable with many twists and turns that keep the audience thoroughly entertained.

Kingsman will hopefully leave behind a legacy.  Not a legacy as wide reaching and well-known as the Bond and Bourne series, but one with more smooth action sequences.  Unlike many of the action films Hollywood churns out, -99999999 is deserving of a franchise.  Hopefully Matthew Vaughn continues to direct these spy films for years to come.