Hankinson. Andrew Hankinson and welcome back to another film/cinema review, this one being the first of 2015! After a month of finishing course projects, and preparing for my driver’s test, I managed to complete half of my course and pass my driving test first time! Unfortunately during this time I was not able to write a review on “The Theory of Everything” which was a brilliant film and recently won the 2015 “Outstanding British Film” and “Leading Actor” BAFTAs. Anyway onto the review and I feel I should warn you of spoilers, but this isn’t that kind of review.
The not-in-any-way-like-James-Bond KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE! Kingsman, a British secret agency, are investigating the suspicious activities connected with the billionaire, Valentine to discover he plans to eradicate a percentage of the global population to save the Earth from further environmental damage. Meanwhile one of the Kingsman spies (Harry Hart) offers a rebellious teenage chav named Eggsy the opportunity to become a British spy. Eggsy has to undergo extreme training and tests to transform, not only into a spy but also into a gentleman, to stop Valentine from killing millions of innocent civilians. We learn that “manners maketh man”, anybody can be a somebody, and that all classic spy films are pretty boring when you look at them.
Back to the Kilmarnock Odeon again. You know the drill: picture and sound quality are good, but seats aren’t the best. Decided to get a small pick ‘n’ mix cup that cost £5 – such a rip-off! I made sure to get the small cup after having nightmares of being short-changed when someone pointed out that McDonalds give you the same quantity of a drink in a large cup as they do in a normal cup! Anyway on another note the Pics Prick returned; you’ll know this one as well. The one who doesn’t go to the toilet beforehand and has to get past everyone in the row during the film to go! Infuriating! But unfortunately this time it was me.
Lets get away from the film review for a sec and review the book. I read the graphic novel before going to see the film and thought it was ok. I love other books by Mark Millar but wouldn’t say this was my favourite because even although it was trying not to be cliché it didn’t really succeed apart from the black-humour. From the film trailer it looked far more unique and I was expecting the film to have a lot more surprises. The storyline structure of the film is quite predictable; Eggsy starts off as a nobody, becomes a somebody, loses Harry and his hope, regains his strength after remembering Harry’s last inspiring words, defeats the villain and saves the world. The gadgets are mandatory when it comes to spy movies; I was rather hoping to see the laser pen used at some point like in the novel. It would have been slightly different, but nether the less they did a good job with Eggsy and Gazelle’s last fighting scenes. And what is more typical in any popular film than Samuel L. Jackson and as always in his films, he did a brilliant job as the lisping, top-capped villain; much better than in the graphic novel character.
With films like this they attempt to outmatch their film competitors by being exactly like them or by constantly stating the competitors’ names and usually these films end up failing to be any good. But this film is Matthew Vaughn’s handiwork and pays tribute to the spy classics as well as adding Vaughn’s bit of fun into the mix. The death of Lancelot is brilliant at the beginning; you see the blade for a millisecond and then you see him divide…slowly in two…vertically! It was a wow moment and proved immediately that you were not about to watch a typical spy film. The fighting scenes have a Kick-Ass comic-book style with a mixture of slow/fast-paced shots, and are visually brilliant especially for the long church scene where Colin Firth fights the whole congregation! The black-humour used with deaths is uncommon with spy films and especially funny when accompanied by music like Free Bird during the Church massacre and Pomp & Circumstance coinciding with the exploding heads. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was Michael Caine’s character to be the traitor; you would have thought that Mark Strong (considering he’s the villain in most of his films including Kick-Ass) would have been a baddy, but no! Should have known that was coming but didn’t and it was good!
I didn’t mind the Kick-Ass films and thought Kingsman was great, but I would love to see Mark Millar’s Nemesis or Superior make it to the big screen. Superior is slightly cliché again, but I enjoyed it and think it’d be great to see especially with the creepy monkey, and I think Nemesis could use the black-humour again as it’s way of being different from typical superhero films. Another Mark Millar graphic novel that is set to release in cinemas is Captain America: Civil War on 29th April 2016 where the Avengers divide and fight against each other. It and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (23rd March 2016) will release quite close together, but I’ve honestly lost anticipation for Batman vs. Superman after waiting so long for it and am far more excited for Civil War. I’m even more excited because Sony and Marvel have decided to introduce Spider-man to the Avengers so there is a big possibility that Spidey will be in Civil War too! In other news, eye spy with my little eye something with J and B! Yep, James Bond will be returning to cinemas in the new film Spectre on 23rd October 2015 and so will Jason Bourne in 2016 as the main protagonist again.
Well we’ve came to the end of another film review so that must mean I’ve to summarize this review but as I said this isn’t that kind of review. Only joking. Kilmarnock Odeon was the same as always and Kingsman: The Secret Service was great! Definitely better than the graphic novel, loved the comic-book style fighting scenes, the black-humour, the lisping villain and the recognition of classic spy films without going overboard. Overall a good watch! That’s me signing off; see you next time.
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – 8/10
KILMARNOCK ODEON – 7/10
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