Kingsman: The Secret Service

2015 | 129 minutes | Rated R

It’s frankly surprising that until now, nobody has directly addressed the glaring class issues at play in James Bond movies. The world can only be saved, again and again, by a British man with upper-class tastes, an austere servant of the 1 percent who surrounds himself with luxury brand names? Seems pretty ripe for a takedown, and not by way of a Jason Bourne/Daniel Craig–style “realistic” deconstruction, either. That movie has finally arrived, in the form of this action-comedy about a slick James Bond–type character named Harry Hart (Colin Firth) who enlists a lower-class chav named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) to join his super-secret spy organization. And the movie doesn’t shy away from pointing out the implications of class in the James Bond mythos, either. But why, oh why, did Mark Millar have to be involved? In case you’re unfamiliar with the name: Mark Millar is the writer of The Secret Service, the comic book on which Kingsman is based. (It was drawn by Dave Gibbons, best known for his work on Watchmen.) And Millar writes the douchiest comic books in the history of humanity. His comics practically reek of Axe body spray. The women in his stories are objects to be possessed, the heroes are unspeakably obnoxious, and the social commentary is about as subtle as a chain-saw circumcision. Kingsman demonstrates the same aimless moral compass as Kick-Ass. This is a movie that’s politically astute enough to mark the 1 percent as the enemy, but it’s also a movie that wants to laugh at the dumb fucking morons who make up the lower classes.

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Film Credits
Director
Matthew Vaughn
Cast
Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, Samuel Jackson, Mark Strong, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson, Jack Davenport, Mark Hamill