Marlborough Mid-Week : February 11th 2015
12 MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK, FEBRUARY 11, 2015 ENTERTAINMENT Cool hand helms exhilarating ride NOW SHOWING BY MATT LAWREY Kingsman The Secret Service (R16) ★★★★ (out of five) British film-maker Matthew Vaughn is one of the coolest guys in the world right now. Vaughn first came to prominence as the producer of director Guy Ritchie’s breakout gangster flicks Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. By 2004, Ritchie’s career was circling the bowl but that didn’t stop Vaughn having a crack at directing himself and the result was the very cool Layer Cake, otherwise known as the film that scored Daniel Craig his 007 gig. Since then the writer, director H and producer has blown people away with Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. He also quietly married and had three children with German supermodel Claudia Schiffer, wrote the screenplay for the rather good Helen Mirren thriller The Debt, and came up with the story for last year’s hugely entertaining X-Men: Days of Future Past. Vaughn is also eloquent, out- spoken and an independent thinker. In a recent interview he said that most films nominated for Oscars put him to sleep. Boldly continuing this thought process, he said it was ‘‘crazy’’ that last year’s fabulously entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy had not received any awards recognition and that Christopher Nolan (the director of, among other things, Memento, The Dark Knight and Interstellar) should have received an Oscar by now. He likened 1959’s Ben Hur to the superhero films of today and claimed that, as far as awards go, too much emphasis was put on drama and ‘‘worthy’’ subject matters. Old school: Colin Firth as international spy Harry Hart in the graphically violent and crudely funny Kingsman: The Secret Service. None of these views will endear him to the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences but, in my opinion, he is 100 per cent correct. Vaughn sums up his approach to his work thus: ‘‘I’m the sort of film-maker that grew up in the 70s and I watched Star Wars and Indiana Jones and I just sat there exhilarated, having the time of my life in the cinema, and I want to continue that tradition.’’ All of which brings us to the film that he quit the X-Men fran- chise to make, Kingsman: Secret Service. Starring Colin Firth as an impeccably dressed international man of mystery, Kingsman is a good-humoured poke in the eye for all the serious James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer capers out there. Unapologetically British, King- sman is equal parts comedy, adventure and graphic yet cartoonish violence. Firth plays Harry Hart, a veteran super spy for the top-secret international Kingsman agency, who attempts to recruit a young but talented yob by the name of Eggsy. Played by newcomer Taron Egerton, Eggsy is a loose unit with huge potential who gets his act together just in time to help Hart take on a genocidal technology tycoon by the name of Richmond Valentine, played by Samuel L Jackson. Backing up the leads are the immensely likeable Mark Strong, the enduring Michael Caine, new face Sophie Cookson and, believe Photo: FILE it or not, Mark Hamill of Luke Skywalker fame. Like Vaughn’s other recent movies, Kingsman is a film with one thing on its mind and that’s giving its audience a good time. Its only glaring flaw is a number of substandard special effects that sadly detract from the joyful mayhem. Apart from that, it’s witty, crude, bloody and, thanks to Vaughn’s gifts for subversion and excess, undeniably thrilling. Bottom line – A wild ride. e may not be a household name but believe me when I tell you that Fly the flag for your team for only $2.50! Pick up your official ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Flag (normally $5.99) when you buy the Marlborough Express, Sunday Star-Times or Sunday News from BP Connect. Participating stores only while stocks last. Promotion runs from 26 January – 22 February 2015. Flag RRP $5.99 without purchase of newspaper.
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