Move over Bond, the name’s Unwin, Gary Unwin.
Adapted from another one of Mark Millar’s hugely popular graphic novels, Kingsman is to spy movies what Kick-Ass was to superhero movies. It follows Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin taking after his father’s failed spy career when he is inducted into the Kingsman order, who have been around since the 1920’s. With a tongue in cheek approach to the spy genre, Kingsman revitalises the dark, gritty take on popular characters like James Bond. It’s surprisingly self-aware for a Hollywood blockbuster, with characters making jokes out of cliche’s and classic spy movies.
The story itself focuses on the idea of the Earth being overpopulated, with Samuel L. Jackson’s character looking to *ahem* ‘solve’ that problem with some unconventional methods. The action sequences throughout the film all look polished to perfection, and whilst some can seem over the top, it’s very fun to watch. As the same with the adaptation of Millar’s previous work ‘Kick-Ass’, we see the main character start from normal, everyday bloke turn himself into fully fledged ‘Bad-Ass’. However, it’s good to see the film-makers acknowledge that he’s only human and manages to mess up several times before becoming the ‘Gentleman Spy’.
Whilst thematically being pretty much the same storyline as ‘Kick-Ass’, ‘Kingsman’ is so much fun that it doesn’t really matter. With most of the cast members delivering spot-on performances, it’s a hell of a ride. When watching it’s hard not to really love Samuel L. Jackson’s colourfully flamboyant villain. He’s quirky, squeamish and could be seen as somewhat of an amalgam of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. It’s brilliantly ironic that the villain intent on mass murder is terrified of blood and vomits at the sight of it. The story also references various other books and films about social standing and class snobbery. It could be seen as the modern version of famous works like ‘My Fair Lady’ or ‘Great Expectations’… if either of those featured a spy organisation dressed in bulletproof three piece suits, of course.
With an intelligent storyline, and a solid cast, this comic adaptation isn’t one to miss.