#12 KINGSMAN (31-1-15)
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Samual L. Jackson, Sophie Cookson and Sofia Boutella. Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. Based on a graphic novel by Mark Miller and Dave Gibons. 129 minutes long.
Inspired by the classic Bond villains, Billionaire, and then some, computer genius, Richmond Valentine has a plan to save the world by destroying it so that the super-rich can inherit the Earth and only one man, well two, well several actually an entire network of a super-elite, spy agency stand in his way. Colin Firth is Harry Hart - one of the band of secret agents called Kingsmen who work, like later-day Knights of Old defending the realm from enemies both foreign and domestic. When a fellow agent is killed whilst on a failed rescue mission, Hart takes a punt on a young man called, Eggsy, the son of another fallen agent, and recruits him into the agency. Trouble is Eggsy is a wrong-un, a Royal Marines drop out, living on a sink estate, a juvenile delinquent in trouble with the law and with a long criminal record of petty crime. But Hart is convinced there's more to the boy than meets the eye and starts to re-educate him, transforming him from troubled yoof into a suave gentleman spy in time for the third act showdown, Bond-style in Valentine's mountain-hewn lair. There's a 'firework' sequence in the final assault that seems to have divided audiences, some loving it and others thinking it a step too far, but I loved it, thinking it was perfect for the whole tone of the film.
This was a fantastically fun film that had the audience howling in laughter, with great action set pieces, some lovely humour and terrific performances. All-in-all this was a glorious and thoroughly entertaining spy film that paid homage to the Bond films of old while never giving them the Vics.
Colin Firth was a revelation, who won me over despite years of 'meh' indifference. Despite some IKEA style set designs and slightly iffy CGI effects there's not a bum note in the entire film and the final scene, perhaps one of the filthiest I've ever seen had the entire audience cheering in surprise.
Matthew Vaughn once again shows a deft hand with comic-book based material and shows himself to be a director of a light touch and a great sense of humour.