Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: a brilliant, intelligent and skilled but lazy Delinquent becomes the chosen one and is told to join an elite group of ass-kickers in order to save the world. To succeed, said lazy delinquent must use his street smarts to beat the living shit out of his snobbish rich boy rivals, save the world from the ever growing hands of The Man and get the girls. Basically that’s the story of KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE summed up in one paragraph.
Yet even if the movie has one of the most overused plots seen in a good number of millennial young adult fiction and had an unnecessarily long training montage , KINGSMAN manages to not only become a good way to start the 2015 cinematic season but it also sets the bar for this year’s crop of action movies thanks to its no-hold-barred action scenes that leave you demanding more. Utilizing all of the familiar tropes, cliches and Spy Genre mainstays known to fans of old-school 007, KINGSMAN finally gives audiences the Spy Movie the world has been missing since GOLDENEYE ended its theatrical run back in the 90’s.
It’s fun, it’s insane, it’s violent as hell, it’s juvenile, it’s politically incorrect and it’s the bloody hit to the face and gut that the Spy Genre deserves for taking itself way too fucking seriously. For a genre that popularized the Suave Playboy Assassin, the Deadly Femme Fatale, the shadow organizations of villains controlling everything through nukes or world ending super weapons and Swiss Army Gadgets, the Spy Genre one day decided to shove a stick up its own ass and ditch its iconic elements that fit perfectly in a comic book in its vain attempts to become a Critic Darling. For god’s sake, this is the genre with a movie called OCTOPUSSY and an invisible car, how the fuck can that be taken seriously? KINGSMAN thankfully decides to give a middle finger to all that pretentious bullshit and go back to what the old Spy Movies did best: have lots of fun against the backdrop of a major world ending conspiracy.
Yes, it’s true that the Spy Genre had to outgrow its cartoonish antics (prevalent in most of Roger Moore’s Bond movies) and its Cold War paranoia (hey, changing times and all that) but that doesn’t mean the genre that helped define the Action Movie had to become a boring shitfest whose only goal was to gain Oscar Nominations or worse, become a generic PG-13 action movie like QUANTUM OF SOLACE that no one even bothers to remember. By balancing the satirical take on a well-established genre with the cartoonish insanity of a great violent graphic novel, KINGSMAN is not only Matthew Vaughn’s best work to date but it’s also one of the best Spy Movies ever made.
With the next 007 movie SPECTER coming to theaters later this year to continue the good streak SKYFALL started, the future of the Spy movies seems to be going nowhere but up and KINGSMAN helped keep the pace.