Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Kingsman – The Secret Service

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 71% (Critics) / 89% (Audience)
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman
Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Synopsis: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. – (Source)

The Good:
As someone who is more of a fan of the over-the-top Roger Moore Bond films, this movie was a much needed change from the grim and dour Jason Bourne-ification that has befallen the Bond franchise. I love wacky villains, visually crazy henchpeople and goofy plans for world domination.
Who knew that Colin Firth had kick-ass action hero in him? And why did it take so long for it to come out? I would not be mad if he pulled a Neeson and got a few more action heavy flicks under his belt.
Samuel L. Jackson great as usual and I loved the little quirks that his mad genius had like a super thick lisp, a distaste for watching violence and a squeamishness at the sight of blood. He also had, in Sofia Boutella’s Gazelle, the best henchwoman on a movie screen since Xenia Onatopp.
Vaugn’s stylized directing was perfect for this movie and gave some of the more violent scenes a flair that made the gore and blood less gruesome and more balletic. I was especially impressed by the church scene…it was a thing of uber-violent beauty.

The Bad:
There is a bit of product placement in one scene that is so shamelessly blatant that my eyes damn near rolled out of my head while watching it.
I also would have liked to see Sophie Cookson’s neophyte spy Roxy given a bit more onscreen opportunities to kick some butt.

The Ugly:
Civilization being destroyed to the sound of K.C. & The Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up” is quite possibly the ugliest thing ever. They couldn’t have used “Keep It Comin’ Love” or “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”?

Final Verdict: The most Bondian spy film that has been released in years, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE is an action-packed, thrilling, unflinchingly violent, in your face romp that puts the fun back into the spy genre and features slick direction from Matthew Vaughn and wonderful performances from everyone in the cast. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the sequel.

Grade: A-

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