‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ review: High-octane Bond, with a twist

Published 9:36 am Monday, February 16, 2015

By Lauren Bradshaw

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men First Class”), “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is an over-the-top, kick-ass action film that I found to be incredibly entertaining. From its adrenaline-filled action scenes, to its endearing characters and all-star cast, Vaughn shows how to make a Bond-esque movie with a twist (not stirred). Despite a terrible choice for the film’s final scene, it’s safe to say “Kingsman” has started off this action-packed movie year with a bang.

Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a young man who has never had it easy. After losing his dad at a young age, Eggsy grew up on the wrong side of town and has had multiple run-ins with the law. All of that comes to a head when Eggsy takes on his mother’s abusive boyfriend and his gang of thugs and winds up in jail. His mother always told him if he was in serious trouble to call a number on his necklace, and someone would help. Unbeknownst to him, his father died in the line of duty as a Kingsman, a member of a secret spy agency. And as a token of their appreciation for his father’s sacrifice, the agency gives Eggsy a get-out-of-jail-free card, literally.

But that isn’t where the story ends. Seeing potential in Eggsy, and hoping to help his late-friend’s son make more of his life, Kingsman agent Harry (Colin Firth) takes the young man under his wing a la “My Fair Lady.” He enrolls him in a school that is training the next Kingsman agent, and out of about 10 recruits, only one will make it into the agency’s exclusive ranks. Eggsy’s training is further amped up when the agency learns that billionaire philanthropist Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is making steps to kill all but a select few of the Earth’s population… for environmental preservation purposes, of course. Will Eggsy have what it takes to make the cut with the Kingsmen and stop Valentine?

Based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series of the same name, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” takes the best elements of a Bond film and cranks it up to the next level. There are Brits. There are gadgets. There are fast-paced action scenes. Hell, there is even an eccentric villain sporting a lisp! If that’s not Bond-like, I don’t know what is.

Now, about that ending scene. After thoroughly enjoying the film, I had serious issues with the second-to-last scene of the movie (stay through the credits to see the real ending). Not only is this scene misogynistic and disgusting, it was also completely out-of-place within the rest of the movie. Following this, the action continues into the ending credits. It didn’t completely make up for the scene, but I left the theater less enraged.

Besides that horrendous final scene (and the nail-biting dog scene), I thoroughly enjoyed “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” It’s obvious that action films are Vaughn’s forte, and there is no doubt in my mind this film will be getting a sequel. Perhaps with “50 Shades Of Grey” also coming out this weekend, you can do a Valentine’s Day double feature.


My Review: B+/A-

LAUREN BRADSHAW grew up in Courtland, graduated from Southampton Academy and doubled-majored in foreign affairs and history at the University of Virginia. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and can be reached at flickchickdc@gmail.com