Kingsman : The Secret Service  (2014)    67/100

Rating :   67/100                                                                     129 Min        15

From director Matthew Vaughn and featuring the same sort of vibrancy that was evident in his ‘Kick-Ass’ (10) although also the same slight lack of cohesion – the gap between its moments of fanciful entertainment and more serious drama being just big enough to fall through at times. Based on ‘The Secret Service’ comic by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, Kingsman are a secret British spy organisation who recruit and train the best and brightest in order to keep the world safe – at this particular moment in time from evil technology giant Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). ‘Eggsy’ (Taron Egerton) is the unlikely working class hero battling local neds and hoodlums, and whose connection by birth to Kingsman will see him brought into the fold by veteran agent Galahad (Colin Firth), but will he make it through the gruelling and highly competitive training regime?

The camera is all over the place for a number of the action scenes and, especially in the beginning, it is really distracting. The film settles somewhat as it goes on but then it just starts to drag – all until one absolutely fantastic scene which inaugurates the final third, you’ll know it when you see it, and leads to an entertaining finale, again a very similar progression to ‘Kick-Ass’. The music sounds rather like a cross between a Bond score and that from 2012’s ‘Avengers Assemble’ (unusually it was composed by two people, Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson), Michael Caine plays the head of Kingsman and Mark Strong appears as one of the senior operatives (Merlin) and also sports a Scottish accent – which initially will have you thinking, ‘is he trying to do a Scottish accent? No, it can’t be, wait – what on earth is that?’ but eventually he gets it down pretty well. Also with Sophie Cookson and Mark Hamill, it’s an enjoyable action adventure film even if it does leave you with a slightly uncertain feeling overall.

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