Last year when I first saw Kingsman’s poster in Golden Village – the one that looks so much better than the one 21 currently put up – I instantly knew that it will be good. There’s just something so elegant with the design and prompted by the line of thoughts that a spy movie equal a melancholic story about a self-assured spy, I was convinced that I would get a British spin on, say, Skyfall or those other Hollywod spy movies. But maybe I should’ve paid more attention on the director’s name, because this is Matthew Vaughn and Kingsman is ain’t that kind of movie.
During a secret mission in Middle East, Galahad or Harry Hart (Colin Firth) was unable to save the life of his newly recruited agent. Guilt ridden, he personally deliver the news to the man’s widow (Samantha Womack) and young son Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin, leaving with them a bravery medal and a promise for help when they need one.
Seventeen years later, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) grew up to be an unemployed hooligans living with an abusive step father and infant step sister. One run in with his step father’s goons and a stolen car later, Eggsy wound up in the police station and was forced to call Harry for help. Harry, of course, decided he need more help than just that.
Given that Eggsy proved himself worthy of it.
I bloody love this movie. How can I not? Everyone loves a bit fun and it’s not a secret that I adore it more than others usually does. Especially when said fun included gun shooting and fights and bloods – some of which were so graciously censored by our precious LSF. So hell, I was more than glad to have Kingsman violated my expectation for a dark spy movie and show me how a fun spy movie should look like instead. And oh, didn’t Matthew Vaughn passed with a flying marks. The narrative might not be original – but then again nothing is original under the sun – yet Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman managed to spin it into something that is not only refreshing, but also touching in the right moment. Which shouldn’t have come for a surprise, considering that this is Matthew Vaughn’s.
In Kingsman, Matthew Vaughn proved that action sequences doesn’t necessarily needs to be gory or stomach churning to be cool. When else can you see Colin Firth decapitate a group of thug with the help of an umbrella – albeit one that is bulletproof and could anesthetize you? And only in Kingsman can you have such joyful spy training, which in a way reminds me to the mutants training in First Class. Plus, Kingsman have such a lovable villain in the form of Richmond Valentine, who takes the silliness of Austin Power’s villains and crank it up a notch, while still managing not to be tacky. Although his accent is a bit annoying. And dear, Kingsman had one of the most absurd and yet amusing explosion scene I’ve ever watched. Last but not least, Kingsman was confident enough to break the fourth wall and created a well-placed, extremely funny, and very memorable punchline. Still, they won’t amount to anything if Kingsman was just a simple fun movie without substance. Luckily, it was well-armed in that department.
The first thing that I love about Kingsman is that it’s not merely a story about a self-assured but guilt-ridden spy, or an underachiever trying to be a better version of himself. It is a story of both, and how those two characters interact to help each other. Truly, the bond between Harry as the father figure that Eggsy never had and Eggsy who grew from Harry’s attempt to make amend into a surrogate son that he really care about is what drive this movie. And Vaughn was successful in making me fall in love with both of them, which was supported by the fact that the two had real in-depth character instead of a two-dimensional personality. While none was said about Harry’s past except through the short reminiscing through old newspapers, Colin Firth presented Harry as a very humane and well-rounded character. The burst of emotion in Harry’s usually composed demeanor was stunning and heartbreaking, and oh I really love this old man. Sadly, Taron Egerton fell short to Colin Firth’s performance. I do dig his Cockney accent – and was glad to hear more than just the usual posh British accent on screen – but he was not as adept in showing emotions as he was on parkour. He could easily charmed me with his backstory and his reckless attitude, yet he failed on doing so. Add to that the fact that his family doesn’t get that much of exposure and appeared to be there simply to gain my sympathy. Also, Sophie Cookson as Roxy and Sofia Boutella as Gazelle failed to bring more into the table from the aspect of the female characters – aside from Gazelle’s deadly curved sword blades feet. At least, Samuel L. Jackson could shed his badass Nick Fury-esque persona for once and have fun as this speech-impaired, hip hop styled, villain-wannabe billionaire. Needless to say, both Mark Strong and Michael Caine was charming as their respective characters. Merlin is adorkable, really.
It is also worth noting that while the plot and Valentine’s evulz plan seems to be absurd and over the top, it honestly is the easiest way out to our current environmental problem. Humans are plague on earth, as stated by Sir David Attenborough, due to our out of control growth. So I don’t really blame Valentine for wanting to “save the earth”, although his method of selection is questionable to say the least. And stereotyped. And prejudiced. And it just shows you that when things goes downhill, you need to be rich or powerful to survive. Common people like us don’t stand a chance, really, unless a hero – or heroine – saved the day. Oh and on the term of heroine, I do adore the fact that Vaughn had Roxy so this movie isn’t all that testosterone filled. While Roxy is not as kick ass as Hit Girl, she still is okay. Albeit Sophie Cookson is straight-faced and not too good at showing emotions as Taron Egerton. Is it just me or Taron Egerton does looks a lot like Josh Hutcherson?
In conclusion, Kingsman: The Secret Service was worth watching because it is, well, fun. Yes, I know I’m abusing the word “fun” here in this review, but it is the word that describes Kingsman best. Yes it is touching, yes it have a slightly deeper meaning behind the story, yes it also is tacky at some point, and yes the actors are either on the “so good” spectrum or all over the place in the “okay.jpg” zone, but Kingsman ultimately is a fun movie. Which is why I love this movie and think that it’s one that you should watch in the theater. Especially if you have a penchant for British humor or anything British, because their jokes are on point – they even have James Bond and Sherlock reference! And come on, you can’t watch this movie and does not remember Mycroft Holmes – the Mark Gatiss one – because he would truly fit in the Kingsman. Also, three pieces suit galore! If all of those are not enough to prompt you to watch this movie, I don’t know what will.
Director: Matthew Vaughn. Writers: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn. Released on: 11 February 2015 (Indonesia). Casts: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton.