Kingsman: The Secret Service
starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Samuel Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Sophie Cookson, Jack Davenport and Mark Hamill
screenplay by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn
directed by Matthew Vaughn
Based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, Kingsman is about a secret spay agency in the U.K. - a non-governmental spy agency - whose ingenious gadget-equipped agents kill the bad guys without the political oversight and accountability of regular governmental spy agencies, like the CIA. I hate movies based on comic books!
Secret agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) recruits young Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton), the son of one of his deceased fellow agents to his spy agency. They are pitted against the cartoonish villain Richmond Valentine (Samuel Jackson), an American billionaire with a plan to save the planet from global warming by “culling” the human population. The film starts off many years earlier when Harry Hart and Eggsy’s father participate in an Egyptian operation that kills Eggsy’s dad. After that we jump ahead to a more contemporary operation where another member of Hart’s team - agent “Lancelot” played by Jack Davenport, better known to millions around the world as Commodore James Norrington from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - tries (and fails) to rescue a university professor climatologist, James Arnold played by Mark Hamill. It remained unclear to me why Richmond Valentine was interested in Prof. Arnold. Maybe the idea of a human cull was the professor’s idea. I thought I recognized Hamill immediately, but his good English accent confused me. The film’s credits confirmed it. It’s weird to see Hamill in two major films - Star Wars: The Force Awakens - so quickly. Since the original Star Wars trilogy in the 1970s-80s Mark Hamill’s career has been mostly in voice acting. I’ve only seen him in one or two other motion pictures.
Eggsy is an annoying juvenile delinquent with a genius-level IQ. His training is tough, but he prevails. I hated the character. But remember, it’s a cartoon, so loving and hating the story or the characters comes cheap.