Verdict: 4 / 5
Yesterday, 4th February 2015, saw the pre-screening of the upcoming release, Kingsman: The Secret Service. The fancy dress event was hosted by Times Media Films and Hyde Park Nu Metro. Although not everyone had played ball in terms of sticking to the dress code, most of the attendees, both media and the public, were treated to some gourmet, designer chocolates and champagne…or non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice for those not wishing to indulge. After a brief announcement (extremely brief, which is often appreciated), the guests were escorted to the venue to enjoy some popcorn and drinks for the feature film.
How do you go from common street hoodlum to a candidate in a secret spy agency? After Gary “Eggsy” Urwin’s father dies during a mission, his life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Seventeen years after his father’s death he ends up in prison and calls in favour that will change his life dramatically.
Completely oblivious that fact that this is based on the Marvel comic book series, I had no preconditioned idea of what to expect. When I saw the Marvel credit cross the screen I had the knee-jerk reaction that this was going to be unoriginal and entirely off putting (The same treatment that the smaller marvel franchises always suffer from). Although content to sit back and eat my free popcorn and sip my free drink, I was quietly intrigued by the all-star cast. Colin Firth, Michael Caine, the venerable Samuel L Jackson and Mark Strong (II) can’t all be wrong, can they?
Colin Firth, as “Harry Hart”, doesn’t exactly scream action hero (in a Marvel movie), but his character, such a suave gentleman, I can’t see how they could cast anyone else. Valentine, played by Samuel L Jackson, is the complete embodiment of businessman and philanthropist, Russell Simons, which is beyond hilarious. Jackson’s portrayal is that of a man trying to save the world by any means necessary, which is given push by his billions of dollars.
I was on the edge of my seat and grabbing the armrest for the well-choreographed action sequences. The gadgets, as with most spy movies, play a crucial part in the story; I was pleasantly surprised that they were not beyond the realm of possibility of actually existing. This movie was entertaining from start to finish and was so fast paced that there was no time for a lag in the story. Kingsman: The Secret Service was not a new storyline, but was more entertaining than most movies in its genre.