Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kingsman: The Secret Service (R/129 Min.)



This movie was not what I thought it was going to be.  Sure, I expected some violence because it is a spy movie. I expected some humor because I did actually watch the trailer this time.  And finally, I expected some cussing because…well…Samuel L. Jackson.  What I didn’t expect was how over the top some of this was going to be.  

Kingsman: The Secret Service tells of a British super-secret spy organization that has just lost one agent and is looking for a replacement.  Meanwhile, our villain is plotting to take over the world.

Sounds pretty generic, huh?  That’s about the most blas√©’ part of the movie.  It all goes haywire from there.  Eggsy is the new recruit brought in by Agent Galahad.  Eggsy has had a bit of a rough life after losing his dad 17 years prior.  He’s highly intelligent but appears to have given up on any chance to get himself out of his current situation.  Since Galahad is the reason Eggsy’s father died, he takes the young man under his wing and brings him into the program.  If you’ve seen the trailer, not much of this is new information.  If you haven’t…sorry. 

Since we can’t have a spy movie without a villain, they brought us Valentine, a multi-billionaire who has decided to take over the world through brain manipulation.  He was an okay villain but his henchman…er…woman, Gazelle, was the real evil behind the man.  It’s almost hard to say that either was truly evil though because they were so comical at times.  Valentine spoke with a lisp and Gazelle was so “Duh!” about some things.  If she’d just quit killing people I’d probably like her.

Taron Egerton was Eggsy.  He was okay but didn’t really stand out until later in the movie.  If you have trouble understanding British accents, he’s going to give you fits on occasion.  I can usually do all right but even I was having trouble at times.  I took Leann with me and had to ask her what was said every now and then.  She didn’t know either.  Taron’s got a boyish charm about him and the movie people really played it up at times.  I don’t know that I could have cast this character any better though so I’ll just leave it at that.

Colin Firth was Agent Galahad.  Sigh.  Oh Colin.  It was nice to see you again but it was not so nice to see some of the things you did.  I expect better from you.  If you don’t already know of Colin Firth and his acting abilities, my question for you is, “Why not?”  Galahad made such a huge mistake 17 years prior to our story and he’s still being judged because of it.  At the same time, he also seems to be well-respected.  It was a tad contradictory.  

Mark Strong was Agent Merlin.  My gosh he’s easy to look at.  He was very deadpan through a good portion of the film but was still very likable.  Merlin was in charge of training and testing the recruits.  He told it like it was and there was no arguing about it.  He also piloted the [American-registered] aircraft for the organization.  Didn’t think anyone would catch that, did you, movie people?  I pointed that out to Leann and she seemed very underwhelmed.  Oh well.  I impressed me anyways.  

Samuel L. Jackson was Valentine, our villain.  The one thing I couldn’t stand about his character was that he had a lisp.  Now, if you have a lisp, don’t get your knickers twisted.  There’s nothing wrong with having one, it just did NOT work here.  I’m pretty sure they were going for comedic affect but big, bad Samuel L. Jackson does not lisp so it was awkward.  And I could never quite see him as Valentine so it was difficult separating the actor from the character.  He did have his funny moments though.  He plays a villain who can’t stand the sight of blood.  It makes him gag.  And the food served at his dinner was definitely unexpected.  Made me think of Pulp Fiction.

Finally, I want to mention one more actor who was only in the movie for a few brief moments.  When we first saw him, he was tied to a chair, awaiting the boss of his kidnappers.  He looked very familiar to me but I couldn’t quite place him.  And then it hit.  Apparently it took other members of the audience a second too because all of the sudden we all loudly whispered, “IT’S LUKE SKYWALKER!!!”  Talk about being known for one character and one character only.  I couldn’t even remember his real name.  Sorry, Mark Hamill, but you will always be Luke to me.

Now, as to why this movie is rated R.  Let me just explain…

Sex/Nudity – We saw a woman’s behind and we knew she was about to “get to know” someone else but we didn’t actually see it happen.  

Cussing/Cursing/Swearing – Whatever you want to call it, it happened.  Yes, I kept track.  Stop shaking your heads.  Some people actually want to know.  This time, the big winner was the F-bomb.  I counted a grand total of 83 which is actually less than I thought there would be considering the villain.  Nothing else came close to that number but I don’t think many of the “good” ones were left out.

Drinking/Drugs/Smoking – I don’t recall seeing any drugs.  There might have been one scene that had smoking but I’m not quite sure.  There was definitely drinking because a few of the scenes were in a pub.  We also saw a few decanted drinks and, of course, there was the obligatory drink switch that must happen in a good, or not so good, spy movie.

Violence – The trailers seemed to have left out any allusion to the violence you will actually see in this film.  Yes, we all saw the funny little scene in the pub with Colin Firth and the bullies but that is NOTHING compared to the rest of the film.  There were more shots to the head than were in the movie, “The Departed” and I was thoroughly sickened by the end of that film.  We saw people stabbed in the eye.  Knives into the tops of heads.  Bones breaking. People cut in half.  People’s heads exploding.  Oddly enough, the blood was kept to a minimum.  And it was absolute overkill.  No pun intended.  These scenes just went on and on and on.  Kind of like my blog posts.

Stomach turning – If you manage to make it through all the death and mayhem but can’t handle vomit, just a warning.  It’s in there.  Just once though.   Thank goodness.

After the movie was over, Leann and I talked about who we would possibly recommend this to.  We couldn’t come up with anything.  If you like Colin Firth, don’t go see this movie.  If you like spy movies, you might enjoy the few actual spy parts if you’re okay with the violence.  If you like more action than violence, this is not the film for you.  If you like watching a bunch of people kill each other, this movie is for you but you should probably watch something much calmer instead.  

If you’re from Westboro Baptist Church you might not want to see this movie.  Or you might want to go picket it.  Or both.  Yes, they changed the name – Southglade Mission Church – and the state – Kentucky – but I’m pretty sure most of the audience figured out at who this was aimed.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all to know that the filmmakers hit the nail on the head with the sermon.  It’s almost sad that what happened to the congregation was more amusing than disturbing.  And it was pretty disturbing.  Oh!  If you’re the current President of the United States, you might also want to avoid this film.  They made Mr. Movie President so similar to you that quite a bit of the audience cheered when something bad happened to him.  This was definitely not the theater to be in if you wanted to surround yourself with admirers.

While there was quite a bit of humor in Kingsman, I just couldn’t stomach the violence.  I will not see this movie again.   

I would like to take a minute to give a quick shout out to the AMC Crossroads 16 theater.  Not only did one of your employees turn on the overhead can lights about halfway through the film, they were left on despite a complaint by yours truly.  Thank you for that extra distraction.  Isn’t it bad enough that a lot of people are afraid to go near your theater but then you have to add little annoyances?  I do have to admit that it was nice to be able to see my notebook to be able to write legibly this time.  But, aside from that…

There is a little snippet after the credits come up but once that has passed it’s all credits and nothing but the credits.  I did find a little bit of humor in the Cast of Characters list.  It was done in order of appearance and the first character seen was a terrorist that had about a 30 second role and who would normally be relegated to the way very end of the list.  He beat out Colin Firth by seconds.  Well done!

After all that we saw with this film, we left with one question and one question only.  What happened to the dog?!?!?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was looking for a movie critic who didn't like this movie. Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes gave it 89%. I couldn't stand the movie. I hated it.