Complete A-Z list

Kingsman: The Secret Service (AF)


Stars: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Sophie Cookson, Jack Davenport, Mark Hamill, Sofia Boutella, Edward Holcroft, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Geoff Bell, Samantha Womack, Michael Caine

Director: Matthew Vaughn

What could you possibly expect from the reunion of director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman whose artistic collaboration put the most vile four-letter word in the English language into the mouth of 12-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz in their comic strip-based ‘hit’ Kick-Ass?

The answer? Simple – another bite at the box-office for comic-book inspired, intellect-light action comedies with Goldman doubling as producer this time and collaborating with Vaughn in the derivative script based on the comic book by Mark Millar and David Gibbons.

What we get is 007 light strongly flavoured with the legendary television series ‘The Avengers’ in the characterisation of the dapper suit-sporting action hero played by Colin Firth in the style of a (reasonable’ tribute to Patrick Macnee and flavoured with memories of celluloid secret agent hero Harry Palmer on offer to anyone who a) remembers or b) cares, in the casting of Michael Caine as one of Firth’s secret service chiefs.

The plot? There’s plenty, involving the induction of unemployed London layabout Taron Egerton (happily a tad less bland than he was in Testament of Youth) into Firth’s top-secret spy organization, the eponymous ‘Kingsman’ after he is told by hardman Mark Strong “You are about to embark on the most dangerous job interview in the world”.

Unsurprisingly, Egerton gets through and ends up helping save the world and dozens of well-known names from death by sorting out their evil would-be multi-millionaire nemesis played with over-the-top lisping gusto by Samuel L Jackson in the traditional role of Hollywood name to sell a British movie around the world.

Fortunately for the box-office, there’s more than enough action and suspense, flashy special effects carnage and entertainingly improbable dialogue to satisfy audiences seeking an enjoyable two-hours plus break from real life, memories of which are unlikely to take up much space in their brain cells.

Alan Frank

UK 2014. UK Distributor: Fox. Colour.
128 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 01 Feb 2015