Kingsman: The New 007?

Himani Parekh/Staff Reporter

If I said this was a typical spy flick, I would be oversimplifying.

Granted, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” does have all the requisite elements of a clichéd but ultimately entertaining spy movie: a car chase, a barely-briefed debonair leading man sent off to stop a super-villain from taking over the world, an attractive female spy to accompany him, some explosions, an epic fight scene and finale, and an evil female assistant to the villain. However, the Matthew Vaughn-directed enterprise sidesteps that terrible debility with a subversive and youthful stride befitting the aforementioned debonair, Eggsy Unwin, initially an unemployed twenty-something living with his mother and her controlling boyfriend.

An intelligent and clearly capable young adult, Eggsy had not found any occupation worth holding on to when he gets into some trouble and calls Harry Hart, a posh-looking tailor who used to know Eggsy’s father. Through a lovely series of events, Eggsy finds himself among several other young adults being considered, via a variety of tests and challenges, to join the Kingsmen, a spy ring composed of people who are ostensibly tailors. Eggsy goes on to save the world from the not-so-evil but definitely determined Richmond Valentine, a billionaire who has decided that since he cannot save the world, he might as well destroy most of the people in it with the aim of reestablishing society built on only the cream of humanity.

The movie treats the world and its occupants with an irreverence that challenges the clichés and stereotypes presented by James-Bondian movie tropes and lends a comical edge to otherwise remarkably violent action scenes. For one, Eggsy does not fit the usual standard of the slick spy steeped in upper-class mannerisms; he acquires them through Kingsman as one would acquire a well-tailored coat. Richmond Valentine is not the sadistic villain gleefully watching the destruction of others though he is gleefully attempting to reshape the world as he sees fit. The plot is not government pitted against government or individual pitted against government, but an organization run by tailors and two young adults against a severely misguided billionaire. The undertone of these details is rife with the cheeky “devil-may-care” attitude embodied by Eggsy.

The constant interplay between young and old keeps the movie relevant and unexpected; the car chase scene is comprised not of a high-speed race between good guy and bad guy, but of a few young adults stealing man’s car and insolently evading a police car. The man is, in his own right, a bad guy but in the sense that he is a friend of Eggsy’s Mom’s boyfriend, a real life bad guy as opposed to a fantastical one existent only in the realm of typical spy movies.

However, the movie does have its flaws. Valentine and his assistant are the only real non-Caucasian characters, which can be read as subtly racist, and while Roxy is the one to pass the final exam, her role in stopping Valentine is only subsidiary to Eggsy’s, though thankfully, the movie does not try to force some implausible romantic affiliation between the two. Of course, there is the fact that ultimately the movie employs almost every expected spy movie element,
albeit with a twist.

Nevertheless, in the name of fun and surprisingly balletic explosions, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” delivers an enjoyable and pleasantly original spin on a
well-known genre.

Now go enjoy the witty dialog and saucy characters and entertaining action sequences yourself.