The first trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service suggests a fun, funny, accessible action flick concerned with espionage and boys playing with (exploding) toys, sort of like James Bond for millennials.
Starring the always-compelling Colin Firth and featuring a solid group of supporting players (Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella), the film depicts a young British holligan (Taron Egerton) who is recruited by Firth to train for the super secret clan of spies. Firth’s character is a clothing tailor whose shop is secretly the spies’ HQ, so everyone is, of course, impeccably dressed. Sartorial spies are the best spies — just ask Daniel Craig.
Firth last played a spy in Tomas Alfredson’s brilliant enigma of a film Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, which starred Gary Oldman (who earned his first Oscar nom for his staid performance), John Hurt, and Benedict Cumberbatch. TTSS is a slow-burn head-scratcher that demands to be seen two or three times to be understood. As visually lush as it is cerebral and intricately-plotted, Alfredson’s film is the antithesis of a Bond film; the suspense builds like so much water against a cracking dam, but when the action finally comes it’s more of a squirt than a full-on rupture. And yet it’s more satisfying than any of the pre-Craig Bond films because it makes you earn your entertainment. It totally deserves this mini-digression.
Kingsman doesn’t seem to be that kind of movie. (TTSS made a modest $80 million on a $20 budget but it didn’t set the world on fire.) Kingsman showcases some hard-hitting action and a Doors’ song, which is odd given the film’s overt Britishness. And the camerawork seems pretty nifty, based on the fleeting clips.