Matthew Vaughn’s ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is the very reason the term popcorn cinema was coined, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been able to experience it. Matthew Vaughn is teamed again with writers Jane Goldman and Mark Millar after the surprise hit ‘Kick-Ass’ from 2010. Matthew Vaughn has honed his directorial prowess since, in case you missed it, directing ‘X-Men: First Class’ in between these efforts. With the wild success of X-Men you would think that Fox and MARV films would have someone in executive ranks who would have the good common sense to market this film properly and get it out of the February graveyard. Not once did I see an ad for this film that included “from the director of X-Men: First Class” or really much advertising at all. I lend so much gravity to this point because I would like to use what small pedestal I have to tell people to see this film and see it in a theater and do it soon so as to not let the 50 shades crush devour this superior feat in filmmaking.
The performances in this film are a tad uneven but not distractingly so. Relative newcomer Taron Egerton is charming and up to task, holding his own in scenes with Colin Firth and Michael Caine who themselves are at their pithiest and consistent as ever. The biggest problem for the performers in the film is perhaps the strength of the rest of the film. It’s because this is the height of popcorn entertainment that there isn’t much for a lot of the tertiary characters to do but be one-dimensional placeholders for plot advancements. And finally there is the Samual Jackson who affected a lisp for the villain that is maybe a bit too tongue in cheek and can be a tad distracting from the overall experience.
Then there is the action, the kinetic, frenetic action that absolutely envelops this film and keeps you riveted from the opening title sequence to the final showdown. In no way is it hyperbole for me to say that this film has the finest action scene I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid, I’ll only say that at the end of the sequence I personally proclaimed ‘Amen!’. I cannot sell enough how captivated I was by the action and flow this film had, except to say that I’m seriously considering seeing it again in theaters while I have a chance; and I never do that, and especially for an action movie. This movie is pure spectacle and more fun than I’ve had at the theater in a long time.
This movie won’t win any awards, it won’t compare to the box offices of anything coming out of Marvel studios, and unless you work in a very hip place you won’t hear much water cooler talk about it. But this is the kind of movie that makes you kick yourself for not being more excited for it once you’ve already seen it. Matthew Vaughn had already won me over with ‘Kick-Ass’, and just reinforced that with ‘X-Men: First Class’, but after ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ he has jumped up to the top of directors whose films I will not miss. So please, call a friend, triangulate the coordinates to the nearest theater, and soak in this popcorn movie in the way it’s meant to be seen; at the theaters.