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Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

In a similar fashion to how “Kick-Ass” parodied superhero films, Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a spoof of espionage movies.

Based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series, the film follows Eggsy (Taron Egerton) – a young tearaway who is enrolled in a spy school after being taken under the wing of veteran secret agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth). The unlikely pairing set out to thwart the evil plans of billionaire super villain Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson), who is using malevolent SIM cards to force the world’s population to brutally kill each other.

As you would expect, the plot is jam-packed full of the typical spy clichés cinemagoers have witnessed over the years. There’s no shortage of tailored suits, fast cars and characters jumping out of planes. Not to mention the gadgets, including a lighter doubling as a grenade, shoes with a pop-out blade and a taser-firing, bulletproof umbrella.

Such gadgets predominantly feature in the film’s action scenes, which are highly intense affairs, largely down to the excellent choreography and frantic camera movements. This is particularly evident during one of the film’s highlights: a five-minute fight scene, which breaks out after Harry Hart’s controversial, liberal-baiting rant in a church.

In terms of casting, Matthew Vaughn has hit the nail on the head. Colin Firth is the epitome of the British stereotype, eloquently delivering lines of dialogue, all the while oozing with sophistication and style as he dons his tailor-made suits. Likewise, Samuel L Jackson is wonderfully eccentric, while Michael Caine gives a strong performance in his brief role as the head of Kingsman.

Nevertheless, it’s Taron Egerton who really steals the show, as his character goes through a transformation from a typical chav on a council estate to a man brimming with elegance. It’s a pleasure to watch, as the young actor demonstrates a diverse range of acting capabilities throughout the film’s 129 minute running time. Egerton looks set to become the next big star to emerge from Matthew Vaughn’s plethora of young talent, which has already kick-started glittering careers for Chloe Grace Moretz and Sienna Miller.

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