I figured that Kingsman: The Secret Service would be James Bond-esque, but it actually ended up being James Bond Jr. meets Kill Bill, and it was a highly entertaining ride throughout.
Gary (Taron Egerton), who goes by "Eggsy," is a bit of a hooligan; when we meet him at the start of the film, he has just stolen a car, and is being chased by the police - while he drives the car backwards through the streets of London. When he ends up in jail, Eggsy calls the number on the back of a necklace he wears; he's released from jail, and met by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who wants to give him a job. "Give" is a bit of an understatement, though: Harry wants Eggsy to "interview" for a job in Kingsman, a super secret CIA-esque group that is highly selective of its recruits. Eggsy will be competing against higher-educated peers for the job, as well, but it turns out Eggsy has a knack for the secret service life; which isn't surprising, considering his now-deceased father "interviewed" for Kingsman as well. When Harry finds out that Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a Steve Jobs-esque businessman, is hatching a plot that will cause much harm to the world, he tries to stop him; Eggsy must help him figure out exactly what Valentine is up to, and then put a stop to it.
All the acting in this film was great, which isn't surprising when you look at the cast list: Colin Firth, in a very non-Firth-like role; Samuel L. Jackson, as the "evil genius" businessman with a lisp; Michael Caine and Mark Strong, as other Kingsman advisors; and supporting roles by Mark Hamill and others. The young people who are trying to get a position in Kingsman were interesting too, although Eggsy was my favorite out of all of them, still.
Yes, definitely see this movie. I will warn you that it's very bloody and violent - more so than I thought it would be - and I'd characterize it as Kill Bill lite. There's some subplots that reminded me of The Purge, too, and the film feels like a James Bond movie except with more "zip," if that makes sense. The ending is left open for a sequel, and I'd love to see Eggsy and his Kingsman friends back on the screen another time, too. I'd recommend this movie for anyone who loves extreme action films, with a dash of spy games thrown in, and it should do well at the box office based on its cast alone.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is in theaters today, February 13th, and is rated R with a runtime of 129 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.
*Author's note: I actually screened this movie twice, because I had missed the first 10-15 minutes my first time around, and enjoyed it just as much the second time around, too.