MANNERS MAKETH THE MAN.
When an agent working for a top-secret intelligence agency is killed, his colleague (Colin Firth) enlists a troublesome teenager (Taron Egerton) to join a group of candidates who will be trained to fill the vacancy. In Matthew Vaughn’s view spy movies were getting a bit too serious, which is why he made this very violent but stylish and lighthearted adventure, not unlike his earlier Kick-Ass (2010). Very British, and so cartoonishly absurd that CGI is a must in many of the fight scenes, the film gets a boost from Firth’s effort as a new kind of John Steed. Would have been more fun though if the one-note story wasn’t so protracted.
2015-Britain-U.S. 129 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. Comic Book: Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons (“The Secret Service”). Cast: Taron Egerton (Gary “Eggsy” Unwin), Colin Firth (Harry Hart/Galahad), Samuel L. Jackson (Richmond Valentine), Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson… Mark Hamill.
Trivia: Followed by a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), and a prequel, The King’s Man (2020).
Quote: “I’m a Catholic whore, currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. So, hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, madam.” (Firth to a Westboro Baptist-style churchgoer)