Manners maketh man and execution maketh a movie.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is not a James Bond movie, and it knows that. The main antagonist cannot stand the sight of blood, and the secret agents value teamwork over the glory of single-handedly rescuing a group of people from drowning. While the movie plays off old themes of espionage and crime-fighting, it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously and brings some modern twists to the aging concept, making it delightfully fresh for the audience.
The movie begins with a bang, literally. A few explosions and fight scenes later, one member of the secret agency Kingsman is dead, leaving an opening. Enter Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton).
In a star-studded cast that includes Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Hamill and Michael Caine, Egerton adds raw humor and wins the hearts of audience members by repeatedly voicing what the audience is thinking. In a world of gruesome fighting with ridiculous gadgets, young Eggsy is the guy in the background gawking with admiration that an umbrella could be more effective than a gun. Egerton plays this role to perfection, adding a certain level of credibility not only to his character, but to the movie as well.
Although the movie initially follows a familiar, formulaic plot, it starts making headway toward the middle of the movie. Little, unexpected twists make it difficult to guess exactly what could happen next, and no character is gilded with solid plot armor, as there are a few deaths of some top-listed characters.
The movie also does not shy away from political statements. It tackles the issues of global warming and income inequality subtly yet outspokenly. At the beginning, Eggsy himself says that if anyone had been born with a silver spoon, they could do just as well as anyone else, if not better. At the same time, noticing other characters, he concedes that he could make exceptions.
The cinematography is also sharp. Fight scenes are easy to follow. Even though quite a few violent scenes pervade the movie, they are offset by the musical choices that help to change the tone throughout the movie.
This Valentine’s Day weekend, if you’re looking for an escape from the romance and want a hardcore Jason Bourne-like experience, well, “this ain’t that kind of movie.” On the other hand, if you want to walk out the theater with a smile, the actors, filming, and music of Kingsman all combine to make a thoroughly entertaining movie.