Colin Firth and Taron Egerton
Director Matthew Vaughn returns to the Mark Millar comic-book well once more, adapting The Secret Service into a ridiculously energetic (bordering on frenetic), mod, ultra-violent, Bond satire.
The Kingsmen are a handpicked group of spies beholden to no country or government. With their Arthurian codenames and gadgets, they hunt down baddies outside of bureaucratic red tape and corruption. After one of their own dies, each member must select a candidate for their grueling training program. Galahad (Colin Firth) picks Eggsy (Taron Egerton), the son of a colleague who was killed in action. One megalomaniacal billionaire later, lisping Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson, having himself a good old time), and training becomes a first mission.
Vaughn makes a strong case for why he should direct a Bond film if the producers ever choose to return to the scope and scale of the Roger Moore efforts of the 1970s, back when Bond was fun. (Don’t misunderstand. The current bleak Bond films are great, but sometimes it’s fun to time-travel back to the days of Bond in space.)
Kingsman succeeds on its energy, which pretty much sustains its teetering toward an overlong runtime. Old-school Bond fans may cringe at the loads of mostly cartoonish violence (lots of exploding heads), but it’s all in good fun in Kingsman.