STORY: The Kingsmen aren’t answerable to governments nor are they externally influenced. When one of them is killed thanks to agent Harry’s (Firth) judgement error, he backs his fallen comrade’s son Eggsy (Egerton) to become a Kingsman. Later, they will have to thwart tech tycoon Valentine’s (Jackson) evil designs, involving mind control and mass murder.
REVIEW: Colin Firth’s performance as an action man is nothing short of a revelation. When the impeccably-suited Harry first meets Eggsy while the latter is a young boy, he gives him a medal bearing an engraved telephone number, for whenever Eggsy is in dire circumstances.
Many years later, Eggsy, now directionless , dials it after a squabble with the law, gives the secret code ( ” Oxfords, not Brogues ” ) and is freed from police custody, no questions asked. Harry then rescues Eggsy from a brutal beating (Harry’s motto being an emphatic “Manners. Maketh. The Man”), busts some smooth moves and Eggsy is impressed enough to want to become a Kingsman. Headed by Arthur (Caine) and trained by Merlin (Strong), Eggsy and the other recruits including a woman, Sophie (Cooks on), face a series of gruelling tests before becoming agents.
Part Bond parody, part serious and a whole lot of camp, you can’t help but laugh (there are plenty of ‘LOL’ moments) at the obvious 007 dig when Eggsy tells a bartender that he’d like his martini with gin, not vodka (“obviously”), stirred a certain number of times whilst staring fixedly at a fresh bottle of vermouth!
Egerton delivers and Jackson is perfect as the villain Valentine whose environmentally-conscious concerns conceal a devious plan for global genocide. His sidekick Gazelle (Boutella) is a vamp plucked straight out a Quentin Tarantino wet dream as does a scene involving hyper-stylized mayhem in a small-town church. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker, anyone?) also shows up as a genius scientist. Bulletproof brollies that fire bullets, dart spewing wristwatches and cigarette lighter grenades aside, there’s a smooth balance of good humo u r, butt-kicking action and originality too. Kingsman: The Secret Service is a breath of fresh air in the spy movie genre.