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Kingsman: The Secret Service Is a Violent Fantasy of Weaponized Englishness
By SP_COP on February 13, 2015 | From www.vulture.com
Kingsman: The Secret Service Is a Violent Fantasy of Weaponized Englishness The kind of action extravaganza only a truly fallen civilization can produce, Kingsman: The Secret Service will both entertain you and send you running to the shower. Adapted (loosely) from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons's gleefully brutal 2012 comic book The Secret Service with in-your-face visual bravado by Matthew Vaughn (who also turned Millar's Kick-Ass into a similarly deranged and beautiful killfest), this tale of a young tough getting introduced into a clandestine espionage network takes a familiar setup and upends it with comically stylized brutality.

The film knows its story is an obvious one. "Have you seen Trading Places, Nikita, Pretty Woman?" Colin Firth's Harry Hart (code name: Galahad) asks our hero Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a council estate kid with a chip on his shoulder. Eggsy hasn't heard of those films, but he has heard of My Fair Lady, one of Kingsman's less intuitive reference points. Due to a long-ago incident that left Eggsy’s father dead, Harry has been waiting for the opportunity to try and turn the troubled young man into a Kingsman — a secret group of international super-spies formed out of a centuries-old order of tailors. The Kingsmen are run out of a Savile Row shop, and they pay as much attention to their bespoke suits and fine Scotch as they do to their elaborate gadgets and bulletproof umbrellas — they’re a fantasy of weaponized Englishness.

Most of Kingsman's story involves Eggsy and several other young initiates' attempts to make it through the order’s intense training program, at the end of which only one of them will be allowed to join. There is a ticking clock, however: Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a colorful internet-billionaire-cum-climate-change-doomsayer, is going around the world hatching an evil plot that involves kidnapping celebrities and politicians while giving everybody free SIM cards that may or may not have some mind-altering properties. We’re not sure what Valentine’s ultimate aim is, but he’s clearly up to no good: He can’t stand the sight of violence, so his dirty work is done by the young, lithe Gazelle (Algerian actress Sofia Boutella), who has deadly, razor-sharp blades instead of feet and who already killed one of the Kingsmen in the film’s opening scenes....
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