Saturday, February 21, 2015

Making It More Colin Firth-Centric Would Have Improved the Already Awesome ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ Greatly

Kingsman: The Secret Service is the greatest adaptation of a Mark Millar comicbook to date.  Though I’m an avid comicbook reader, I’m not aware of this movie’s source material, so I can’t tell if how much of the awesomeness of this movie can be attributed to Millar’s ideas.  But I have a feeling that most of the credit for making Kingsman pretty awesome belongs to the guy that adapted this into the big screen, Matthew Vaughn (the director & co-writer of the screenplay). 

Kingsman is consistently entertaining from start to finish.  I appreciate all the tongue-in-cheek referencing of popular spy fiction properties and tropes, and it has some of the most viciously beautiful fight scenes this side of The Raid movies. 

But my most favorite thing about this movie is Colin Firth and his character, Harry Hart (codename: Galahad) – a simultaneous terrific parody and modernization of the gentleman super-spy trope.  I’ve always thought of Colin Firth as a decent actor; he was amazing as King George VI in the 2010 Academy Award-winning movie, The King’s Speech.  But it was in Kingsman that showed us what kind of character Colin Firth is born to play.  He was a natural being a gentleman-spy character – not necessarily 007-like, but in a delightfully distinctive way.  He carried an effortless elegant demeanor, and was able to gracefully execute the brutal choreography (unless, most of the work is done by his stunt double) of his fight scenes (heck, most of the awesome fight scenes in the movie involved Galahad). 

Colin Firth’s Galahad was definitely the best character in the movie by a mile (the runner-up is Sofia Boutella’s Gazelle, an early contender for my Best Movie Villainess of 2015) and I find it disappointing that the movie was not made all about him.  Galahad merely had a “mentor role” to the lead protagonist, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, played by Taron Egerton.  Now, Taron’s Eggsy is okay.  He’s not boring, and he actually has a couple of great character moments.  But Eggsy really pales in comparison with Galahad.  At the final act of the movie, when (SPOILERS) Galahad was killed, Eggsy was put in a “filling his mentor’s shoes” moment, and it was pretty apparent that he had big shoes to fill – there was a bit of clumsiness in his manner and motions.

No doubt, Kingsman is incredibly fun and will likely make my list for best movies of the year.  But if it had been delivered as a Galahad story, I believe it would have been much, much, MUCH better.

And I think Matt Vaughn realizes this, too.  There are already reports that a sequel is understandably on the works, and Vaughn is working on ideas in bringing Galahad back.  Because, seriously, a Kingsman 2 without Colin Firth?  That won’t do at all.

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