Film Review: "Kingsman: The Secret Service" (2015).
"Manners maketh man. Do you know what that means? Then let me teach you a lesson." And boy do we learn something with Kingsman: The Secret Service. This spy action comedy film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book The Secret Service, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar, and adapted by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. The film tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that 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.
The project was announced in late October 2012, after Vaughn vacated the director's chair for X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) to adapt Millar's comic book. On 27 March 2013, 20th Century Fox confirmed the film and set 14 November 2014 as the release date for the film worldwide, with production to begin in the following August. Colin Firth joined the cast to lead the film on 29 April 2013. On 3 June 2013, it was reported that Leonardo DiCaprio was in talks to play a villain. In late 2013, Vaughn cast Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson for the young lead roles, preferring newcomers over more experienced candidates. Principal photography began in October 2013 throughout England, on a budget reported to be one-third of the budget of Skyfall (2012).
The film stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Sophie Cookson, Michael Caine and Sofia Boutella. The cast gave exceptional performances, especially to Firth and the two newcomers Egerton and Cookson. Firth was the epitome of a gentleman spy. Very David Niven like in his demeanour and presentation. He also made a very good action star, according to stunt coordinator and second unit director Bradley James Allan, Firth did 80% of his own stunts. As well as worked out for around six months to be in top fighting shape and physical form in order to portray his role. Jackson as well gave a fun performance as the film's villain. He brought his own flavour to the character and it was... pure fun. Like many of the villains in the James Bond franchise have had some form of physical dysfunction or abnormality, Jackson's character of Richmond Valentine was originally intended not to have a lisp, however Jackson completed his first take with a lisp. Director Vaughn yelled cut and talked to Jackson who revealed to Vaughn that prior to having an acting career he actually had a lisp which he eventually overcame. It was also jokingly remarked that this lisp is Valentine's intention for being villainous. Boutella made an exceptional and original villainous hence-woman. She had to undergo an intense training schedule to portray the part of Gazelle. Boutella said: "They taught me Thai boxing, Taekwondo, and how to work with cables. Gazelle uses her legs to kill, so I had to learn different types of kicks. I'd never done anything like it before".
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a ridiculously entertaining, perfectly paced, ultra-violent cinematic rush that kicks the places other movies struggle to reach. The film's violence is clearly fantastical and cartoonish and not to be taken seriously. In addition to being a fast, periodically spit-funny and often grotesquely violent, the film at once embraces and satirizes contemporary spy action-film clichés with Tarantino-esque self-regard.