Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service
THE FILM: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE is one of those movies that grabs you by the stones and doesn't let go until the credits roll. I haven't seen any of the spy films that it pays homage to, but if they're anything like this I'll get right on it. The basic story is about a young man, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who joins a super-secret spy organization, helps save the world, and becomes a better person in the process. The entire cast did an incredible job playing their characters. You have seasoned veterans like Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson. And then there is newcomer Taron Egerton, who is a revelation. He has a suave, cool attitude to him that really sold the character he played. Not only were the performances excellent all-round, the actors looked like they were having a great time, which spills over onto the audience as a result. The action sequences, an important part of a film like this, were also really good. Matthew Vaughn has a way with kinetic action (see: LAYER CAKE, KICK-ASS) and he delivers that here. Although the editing and camera-work pushes the boundaries of comprehensibility, the geography of each scene was never in question. The crown jewel of these is a scene in a church set to Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird. If you aren't on-board with the film at this point, maybe it isn't for you. If there's anything that be said negatively about the film, the characterization of the villain might not sit well with some people. There also was quite a lot of CGI enhancement. And, there's one sexual joke/scene towards the end that could come off as crass, but I thought it was consistent with the type of film this was trying to be. Generally speaking, all of the complaints that could be made of the film have (to me, at least) a valid explanation. It's a highly entertaining film with a good story, excellent action, and a great sense of humor. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

THE EXTRAS: There isn't a load of special features, but what is there provides a decently thorough look at one of this year's best films. The centerpiece is a 90-minute documentary (split into several parts) on the making of KINGSMAN. It was great to see the amount of thought and work that went into the project, as well as the enthusiasm of the cast and crew. However, one thing I couldn't get out of my head was how Matthew Vaughn sounds like Eric Bana with a British accent. There are also some galleries of concept art and production stills.

OVERALL: KINGSMAN is, hands down, my favorite theatrical experience this year (so far), and it was just as entertaining on Blu-ray. Although I do gravitate towards more serious-minded fare, escapism done right is just as good. This film knows what it is and delivers a high-octane thrill-ride that will appeal to the kid in you. As far as a Blu-ray package, there isn't a wealth of supplementary material, but was still enough for me. So, if you like action films that kick butt and have fun while doing so, I'd highly recommend picking up KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE.

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