Film Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service
6th February 2015
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★☆☆☆☆ Matthew Vaughn’s films have wandered between the inspired (Layer Cake) and the atrocious (Kick Ass), with X Men: First Class occupying the safe mainstream middle-ground. Cruel, violent and very right-wing, Kingman: The Secret Service is closer to Kick Ass than the other two, although it’s been dressed up as a fun action romp. It’s actually anything but. The start of this morally bankrupt two hours of carnage involves Colin Firth gratuitously using the word 'f*ck' (because this film is COOL! People SWEAR!) and a woman slicing a man in half with a razor-sharp prosthetic leg. And it all goes downhill from there. As you will probably know from the relentless (though superbly edited) trailers, the film centres around the rehabilitation of a young lad named Egsy (Taron Egerton). He has become involved in drugs and crime but his father was a member of the secret service so, naturally, his old colleague Firth turns up to remove him from his Ken Loach surroundings and throw him into the world of James Bond. The film is part origins-movie, with a selection process determining who shall become an elite group of spies (known as the Kingsman), headed up by Firth, Michael Caine and a Scottish Mark Strong. In an adaptation on the idea of a ‘tart with a heart’, the film shows Egsy is a dangerous-youth with a heart. The film relies on stigmatising the working classes in order to show that here we have an exception to the rule. The narrative also helps peddle the regrettable myth that single mothers cause families to go downhill and weaken the moral upbringing of children. Once we’ve gone through the training stage the story offers up a world-domination plan courtesy of a lisping Samuel L. Jackson. Eccentric and afraid of blood, this is a Bond-villain times a hundred and it is also important that he is an environmentalist (a type of person the Right frequently like to demonise).
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