So, for those who don’t know, I forgot to add this movie to the list at the start of the countdown. I originally thought this was a 2014 film, but was reminded during the Oscars last week that this film was in fact a 2015 release. Luckily, I couldn’t have caught the mistake at a better time, as when I went to evaluate this film’s place on this Countdown, it ended up fitting perfectly on the list without me having to go out of order. That’s a testament to how good this movie was.
The Kingsman are a secret spy organization of gentlemen based in Britain, who are currently trying to protect the world from a wealthy and insane man named Richmond Valentine, who threatens billions of lives. Meanwhile, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin is a delinquent with a rough upbringing destined to be a criminal until he meets a Kingsman named Harry “Galahad” Hart. Having known Eggsy’s father who was also a Kingsman and seeing his father’s potential in Eggsy, Galahad recruits him for the Kingsman program to help stop Valentine.
I think it’s impossible to give Kingsman an insult, because it’s so well done. In a sea of huge action blockbusters that oftentimes utilize the same tired tropes and stories, it’s hard for any action film to find footing or identity among the rest. However, Kingsman finds a way against all odds. Think about it. A spy movie released in January based on a little known property with a very British feel acting as an homage to British spy films of old. It’s a miracle how well it did financially and how it connected with even me, a young American dork who hasn’t even watched a Bond film in his life.
The film’s story is nothing too special, but that’s kinda the main idea. Tribute films like this are supposed to have plots typical to the genre. What I will say is that it has a compelling sequence of events which means you’ll never get bored or disinterested. There’s always something going on and never once does a scene feel unnecessary.
Where the writing gets interesting is in the character development. These characters are dynamic, interesting and well-realized, with very few exceptions. This is, of course, aided by this film’s excellent performances. It’s to be expected that actors like Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine are great, but this film also has Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson, who are excellent leads. Both are likable, relatable and badass all at once.
If one aspect of Kingsman is to be praised above the rest, it’s the action. This is some of 2015’s best action hands-down. It’s kind of hard to explain, but there’s a distinct style to this film’s action. I think it’s all a blend of incredible choreography and eye-catching cinematography. It’s fast-paced, vibrant, exciting and rather graphic. You can feel the impact of each hit, shot, explosion, and stab, adding a sense of investment and memorability instead of mindlessness. And I conclude that this film’s church scene is the best action scene from last year.
For a movie I thought I wouldn’t want to see, I’m so glad I did. Kingsman is a gem among action movies and one you just have to see for yourself; especially if you’re a fan of spy movies of this style. Even if you aren’t, I assure you this is a film worth your time. You’ll thank me later.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!
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For all entries in the 2015 Movie Countdown, click here!