February 11, 2015

 “We are an independent international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion. The Kingsmen agents are the new knights.”

I remember Roger Moore's Bond vaguely, but I do know it wasn't as dark and as serious as Daniel Craig's. Moore's version of the secret spy was goofy, dashing and rather cartoonish, completed with impossible stunts, crazy gadgets and cuckoo villains. Those very elements are what the new-era 007 lacking, as well as all Bourne's movies, which fortunately brings Matthew Vaughn (who also brings you X-Men : First Class and my personal favorite Kick Ass) alongside writer Jane Goldman to adapt Mark Millar and Dave Gibbon's "The Secret Service" comic book into life, bringing you younger, even more fresh and quite original spy movie. So, how was it?

The story centered on Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin (Taron Egerton) whose mother was married to local-trouble after his father passed away in some 'military' service. After unfortunate event of car-stealing-and-crashing, Eggsy ended up behind the bar, for then later he got bailed by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an old military friend of his father. Eggsy later found out that Harry aka Galahad was actually a secret agent from an elite cohort named The Kingsman (which HQ was located in a tailor shop on Savile Row, so British), and that his father too, was a Kingsman, whose death was from saving Galahad's life. On the other hand, The Kingsman was just losing one of their agents, Lancelot (Jack Davenport) on his mission to safe a geologist professor. The Kingsman then did a recruitment, in which Galahad picked Eggsy to represent him in search for Lancelot's replacement and to stop cuckoo billionaire Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) and his accomplish Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) from wiping out most of the population. 

First of all, I am gonna apologize for the lack of post; I haven't been in the mood for writing in the past few months, until now. Ok, back to the movie. I honestly had quite an expectation on this one, especially it is kinda rare now for a spy movie that is not like James Bond and isn't as bad as those child spy movie. And damn was this one exceeded my expectation. It was stylish (British and well-tailored suit, what could be more stylish?), with sarcastic yet witty gags, steady pace, rather cartoonish and kick-ass action sequences (especially when the cameera speeds up whenever Eggsy ducks and jumps), laughable one-liners and fresh self-involved drama. It wasn't as gorish as I expected, especially knowing it is rated R (the exploding heads were presented as colorful fireworks) but it was damn enjoyable. Never a dull moment.

The humors were beyond! The McDonalds, the JB pugs (it's not James Bond or Jason Bourne, but Jack Bauer), the insinuation of people nowadays who are mostly glued to their cellphones (Valentine's SIM card which offers Free Call, Free Text, Free Internet, FOREVER), the "It's like Trading Places ... Pretty Woman .. ah like My Fair Lady", the codenames from Camelot (Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, etc) and of course that moment when Galahad sabotage a church service by pouring a single sentence. Man.

To be honest, I wasn't quite sure about Colin Firth portraying Harry Hart, but he turned out to be more than alright. Galahad was stern, poise and kickass without wrinkling his suit, very charming in his weird-calm way. Samuel L. Jackson was great; Valentine was a villain with the worst sense of fashion and a weird penchant over Yankees's snapbacks. He was cuckoo and over-the-top alright. Taron Egerton was shining as well, especially with that accent of his, quickly gaining over the fans by his charm and quick moves. Sofia Boutella was my favorite; though her razor prosthetic feet seemed impractical, but her acrobatic-like martial arts was insane. Mark Strong as Merlin was quite an addition, so was Michael Caine's Arthur. Quite a cast.

Overall saying, Kingsman : The Secret Service (almost) had it all; action, humor, act, drama, fun, you got it. Definitely recommended.

FYI, in my country, Indonesia, this movie had a huge chopped off : 12 minutes off of the original 129-minutes runtime. The scenes that got 'censored' was the fight at the church and (probably) the sex scene between Eggsy and Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Tell you what, 12 minutes are a HUGE DEAL; it's like a deleted scene you got from a DVD/Blu-Ray or an easter-egg feature. Plus, the church-fight scene was highly significant to the timeline. And the worst thing happened in Jupiter Ascending, where A KISSING SCENE between Kunis and Tatum was censored (a minute scene). I am sure that they did what they did for a reason, but I think 12 minutes and a kissing scene were just too much (especially when some scenes showing buttocks were uncensored). Ratings are created for a reason, to prevent a certain group of age to watch something inappropriate for their range, which clearly isn't a thing here in Indonesia (I mean, what kind of parents bring their children to watch Jack Reacher, seriously).

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