The story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
One complaint that has always dogged the James Bond franchise over the years is the inescapable fact that while the films seem to be loaded with gratuitous sex and violence in theory, they never quite manage to show them in any great detail. Obviously, the decision to imply more than display has served the producers for more than a half-century, but can you imagine what it would be like if a Bond film were to include all the seamier elements that they have only hinted at in the past? The early word on the over-the-top action-comedy “Kingsman: The Secret Service” seemed to suggest that it would pay homage to the Bond films of old—the ones made before the series took its turn towards the comparatively serious with the arrival of Daniel Craig—while including all the Good Parts that had been largely absent in the past. Alas, it seems to have taken its inspiration from one of the lesser Roger Moore efforts than the classic Connerys and the result is a fitfully amusing but increasing tedious and occasionally appalling mess that plays like “The Man with the Golden Gun” with ridiculous amounts of gore and severed limbs on display, though the nipples this time around are not so much superfluous as they are distressingly nonexistent.
Based on the comic book from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, “Kingsman” posits a top secret British espionage group that is inspired by King Arthur and his knights (whose names the members appropriate for their code names), based in a seemingly ordinary Savile Row tailor shop and regularly saves the world without getting into all the political mumbo-jumbo that has affected the efforts of governmental spy organizations. Having lost their Lancelot after a one-man effort to rescue a kidnapped scientist (Mark Hamill), the group begins the process of recruiting a replacement and for his nominee, agent Harry “Galahad” Hart (Colin Firth) puts up Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), a seemingly ordinary young punk who lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend and spends his days getting into dumb trouble. However, Eggsy is also the son of a former Kingsman who gave his life to save Harry and others when he was just a child.