Warning! Spoilers are in this review.
The hotly anticipated spy film, Kingsman, held its world premiere on Wednesday night and, despite the delay, didn’t disappoint.
TNT watched the goings on at London’s Leicester Square from the comfort of the VIP section of Vue cinema at the Lowry with an unlimited supply of free champagne and a goody bag containing just enough calorie- filled distractions to take one’s mind of the 60 minute setback.
A delayed start to proceedings due to a needless double performance by Take That (who were clearly unsure of their own song lyrics, as they had them rolling on a screen in front of them) and a live stream of wet and cold- looking fans thrusting their damp autograph books at wry- looking celebs all made for rather unnecessary viewing.
But back to the film itself- Kingsman is an exciting, ultra-violent Bond spoof, which plays with the idea that, first and foremost, a British super- spy hero must be a gentleman.
Director Matthew Vaughn- who is also behind Kick Ass and Xmen: First Class– claimed that he found inspiration for this movie whilst at the pub drinking Guinness with co-writer Jane Goldman. This might explain some of the creative strokes of genius and rather wildly explosive scenes which TNT recommend you look out for.
Originally based on the spy comic book series by Mark Millar and David Gibbons, Kingsman tells the story of a super-secret spy organisation that recruits street kid Eggsy – played by the rather dashing Taron Egerton – for the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from an evil tech master-mind called Mr. Valentine, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
The film is far-fetched and outlandish but suave and cool, with gripes of comedy that break up the blood and gore of the fight scenes.
Samuel L. Jackson performs his less prominent role remarkably well. With an uncharacteristic lisp and garish colour co-ordinated outfits that always include a baseball cap; he had the audience in stitches, but admittedly looked a shadow of his big star self.
It appears Jackson was content with taking a backseat in this movie, passing Bridget Jones’ Colin Firth, the limelight as spy agent ‘Galahad’ – the film’s equivalent of James Bond.
Firth told of how in preparation for the role of sophisticated spy agent, he had to undergo several months of intense training, and hats off to him- his polished performance as a super-spy is excellent and refreshingly different to the roles he usually plays.
Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, who played Gazelle, gave a fantastic performance. She was Mr. Valentine’s deadly right-hand woman. Her character is an amputee with blades for feet; she is a super-deadly, not- so- secret, weapon.
Apparently none of the cast members are said to have had any stunt doubles in the movie, giving them all the credit as it is the action scenes which have the viewer gripped throughout; from scenes of the tough training regime at Kingsman HQ, to the bomb and fireworks display during the final showdown.
A fellow viewer at The Lowry said of the film: “At times the action and violence was too much but it was a great, entertaining action movie with some crazy graphics.”
Another added: “It was a good if not a little far-fetched action film, but there was no need for the ‘N word’ to be used again, for no reason, that was totally unnecessary.”
All in all the film is a great, action- fuelled drama which does justice to the comic book series and places itself as a strong contender against some of Quentin Tarantino’s best work.
TNT says: ****
Kingsman will be in a cinema near you from 29 January 2015.
TNT News Melissa McFarlane