Kingsman: The Secret Service - 129min - R
I enjoy the spy genre of films. James Bond films are an institution in Hollywood. I have enjoyed the new gritty realistic standpoint that those movies have taken. Kingsman takes the spy movie to new heights and/or depths depending on how you look at it. I am not fazed by graphic scenes in films and I almost never flinch when someone breaks a bone in a fight scene. This film has found my breaking point for violent images. I liked the film even with the sour feelings it left me. I did want to go home and dust off my Disney collection and watch something wholesome to repair my soul.
Harry Hart, code name Galahad (Colin Firth) takes young Eggsy (Taron Eggerton) under his wing because Eggsy's father sacrificed himself for his team, saving Harry. Harry offers to give Eggsy a chance to try out for the Kingsman. During his training a criminal mastermind known as Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) starts to develop a plan that will have devastating effect across the world.
The film was put together well. It has a nice balance between action-adventure and campy spy gadgets. The performers were all top notch, there didn't seem to be a person out of place or out of their depths with the performance. The touches of humor fit in nicely with the story and weren't overdone. I don't know if they were enough to lighten up the level of violence that really starts off the film and doesn't end until the film is over.
I'm going to talk about the more bloody scenes here so if you are not wanting spoilers please look away, I'm sure you would have in the movie as well.
I think I was past my comfort level about a quarter of the way through the test of Valentine's weapon at the church. You would think that a church based on hate and bigotry would not make me flinch to see them all die horribly, but it did affect me, I was over my violence quotient for a movie. It was completely horrific, the ways that people killed one another in that church. It kept escalating to a darker and more brutal place.
I found it interesting that the movie set the stage for me to not feel bad for the victims as they were intolerant jackwagons, but as the scene continued on I was feeling bad that even intolerant jackwagons didn't need to die that way.
To offset that level of killing there is a scene further in that has a lot of heads exploding. Instead of showing us all of the heads they covered over them with a CGI firework display that took the place of all of the heads. That really softened the blow of the event that took the heads of hundreds of people.
I think that what this movie has going for it is the like able characters. I felt a solid connection with everyone. The fight scenes were outstanding and well-choreographed and the car chase was one of the better ones I have seen.
At its heart it's a really good spy film that has potential. I do hope they will make a sequel. But I also hope that the violence experiment is over and we never ever have to watch a scene like that one in the church again.
Where is your violence tolerance level?