Kingsman: The Secret Service

First Hit:  Tongue in cheek fun while being oddly good.

I didn’t know what to expect when the lights went down. The previews had me believing it was more serious than it ended up being.

That’s not to say it was a comedy, but there are times when either the visuals (heads exploding into a colorful fireworks display) or the lines the actors said (“this is my gun”) were spot on funny.

The film is about a group of wealthy gentlemen who decide they can make things right in the world through intervention, usually armed. The group makes it clear they are not part of any government and have only allegiance to what they believe is right. Michael Caine (playing the group’s leader Arthur – think King), gives each member a historical nickname such as Jack Davenport is “Lancelot”, Mark Strong is “Merlin”, and Colin Firth is Harry Hart AKA “Galahad”.

The opening sequence has a terrorist group holding a global warming expert Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill) hostage. A Kingsman comes in to save the day but gets killed by Gazelle (Sophia Boutella) who is an agent for Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine decides that he cannot fix global warming and because people are the issue, if he gets rid of most the people on the planet global warming can be reversed.

The Kingsman are out to stop him and with the death of a Kingsman, they have to recruit a new one. Here is how we meet the next generation of Kingsman, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Roxy (Sophie Cookson). I liked having the front for their organization being an English haberdashery in London. The fighting scenes were well choreographed and it was fun to watch Firth be so agile, yet sophisticated in his actions.

Firth was excellent as the prime Kingsman and mentor. Caine was good as Arthur. There is a sophistication he brings that works for this film. Egerton was very good and strong as the young street kid who learns what it takes to become a Kingsman. Jackson was great and embodied the role as the guy who wants to kill (although indirectly) most everyone on the planet. Hamill was fun to see again – it has been years. Boutella was very good as Jackson’s henchman (woman). Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn wrote a fun and amusing script and Vaughn directed this strong cast and story with surety and fearlessness.

Overall:  I enjoyed the film when I saw it and it still resonated the next day. It was violently fun.