Kingsman: The Secret Service

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Kingsman: The Secret Service
"What begins as an Ian Fleming piss take ends in a Kill Bill blood bath"

An aloof spoof? Or Kick-Ass 3 for mature teenagers?

Co-writer/director Matthew Vaughn knows what to do with a bigger budget. It's dosh for posh in the cast dept - George VI stutt-u-like Colin Oscar, Sir Michael Doors-Off and Samuel L for starters. Add Tarantino-style violence for the six pack Friday night loud lads and it's go go go!

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What begins as an Ian Fleming piss take ends in a Kill Bill blood bath. The connection between the two is faulty, causing sparks capable of collateral damage.

Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is everyone's idea of a Saville Row male model, masquerading as a toff, or vice versa. Put him in The City, circa 1960, and he would blend in like Bakewell and pastry. In fact he's an agent, a special agent, like John Steed in The Avengers, as emotionally controlled as a stuffed rabbit, employed by a secret organisation, Kingsman, who's boss is Arthur (Michael Caine), an old school veteran from the Buchan era. Somehow they have access to state of the art war machinery oil rich dictators would kill for.

At the opposite end of the social scale is Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a teenager living in a grotty high rise with his mum, baby sister and abusive stepfather. Because of his late dad's service with Kingsman he is invited to join a select group of recruits, most of whom are ex-public school yah-yahs, to fill a vacancy on the team.

After this Full Metal Jacket elimination process the real business of saving humanity begins. Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) is an eccentric billionaire who worries so much about global warming that he creates an ingenious method, worthy of Mao, Stalin and Hitler, to eliminate half the world's population, involving massacres of gut wrenching magnitude, which does not fit comfortably with Kingsman's tradition of Manners Maketh Man.

Two points in the film's favour: 1)It is not Johnny English. 2) Valentine's PA (Sophia Boutella) is an older, sexier Hit-Girl with razor sharp blades for feet.

Bring on the slo-mo, bruv!

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2015
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Learning to be an officer and a gentleman in Britain's finest privately owned secret service
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Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill, Jack Davenport, Sophie Cookson, Tom Prior, Hanna Alstrom

Year: 2014

Runtime: 129 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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