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Kingsman: The Secret Service (Blu-ray Review)

12 Jun, 2015 By: John Latchem

Box Office $128.07 million
$29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray.
Rated ‘R’ for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.
Stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill.

Director Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service does for the spy movie what his Kick-Ass did for superheroes. Both are loosely adapted from Mark Millar-written comic books and deconstruct their genres with characters who seem to exhibit an innate sense that they’re playing out events in a movie that gets more over the top as it goes and has a lot of fun doing it.

Kingsman nails the look and feel of a spy movie by highlighting all the hallmarks of the genre — suave secret agents, high-tech gadgets, thrilling fights and a megalomaniacal villain — while checking off a list of homages to other works.

The story focuses on Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a wayward youth whose father was killed training to join the Kingsman, a secret agency not affiliated with any particular government and based out of a tailor shop in London. Eggsy catches the eye of his father’s mentor, code-name Galahad (Colin Firth), who recruits him as a potential replacement for an agent killed while investigating a plot by a tech billionaire (Samuel L. Jackson) who decides to save the planet from global warming by wiping out 90% of the population.

First, however, Eggsy must get through training to win the job in competition against a batch of potential new recruits with better credentials on paper.
So it’s James Bond by way of Men in Black, with a touch of My Fair Lady thrown in for good measure.

The film takes glee in the anarchic nihilism of its final act, while blunting the impact of its violence with hyper-kinetic fight choreography that borders on cartoonish (but is no less exhilarating), and a scene of heads exploding offers the grace of a Busby Berkeley musical number.

The Blu-ray contains an hour and a half of behind-the-scenes featurettes that can be viewed separately or as a longer documentary, which covers all aspects of production from creating the comic book and adapting it for the screen, to casting, stunts, costuming and more.

About the Author: John Latchem

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