Quality: This score indicates entertainment value.
0 stars is horrible, while 5 stars is spectacular.
Political: This score addresses political messaging.
0 stars is aggressively anti-Conservative, while 5 stars is highly pro-Conservative. 3 stars is apolitical.
Moral/Religious (M/R): This score addresses moral and religious messaging.
0 stars is either intensely immoral or all-out, needless assault on Christianity. 5 stars is either great moral messaging or highly pro-Christian. 3 stars is inoffensive either way.
Quality – 3.5 stars, Political – 1 star, M/R – 1 star
And the acting is perfect. Colin Firth is ideal as Harry Hart, a British super spy for an ultra-secret organization called, “The Kingsman.” He’s wonderful. With trademark class, wit, and distaste for snobbery, Firth pretty much sets the tone. Taron Egerton is fine in the lead role of Eggsy, a gifted, streetsmart lad to whom Harry owes a favor. The villain, Richmond Valentine, is portrayed in lispy campiness by the finest speech-giver of our time, Samuel Jackson. Honestly, I could watch this guy recite any recent Republican State of the Union response, word for word, and I’d be spellbound. He’s that good. And acting as his sexy assistant/enforcer is Sofia Boutella (she’s the one in all the ads with blades for feet). Soulless and focused, Boutella plays the quintessential killing machine. Great stuff.
Hart recruits Eggsy to compete for admittance to The Kingsman, setting up some good training rivalries with other gifted teens. Plenty of snobs-versus-commoners stuff. The tests are equally mental and physical, offering a nice side story as Hart must deal with the growing threat from Valentine. As I said, the first third is 5 star.
From there, as is common when Hollywood injects its agenda, the fun dwindles.
The anti-Right slams, of course, add nothing to the story. One world leader feels just fine partnering with Valentine's genocidal plans because, as he puts it, “I’m a Republican.” Groan. Then, we are presented that tired stereotype of—you guessed it—a hate-mongering Christian church. Hey, why not? There’s still one in Kansas, right? But I hear they’re getting better, now that Kevin Bacon taught them to dance!
Chockfull of foot-stomping bigots and a preacher attacking endless non-white-Christian groups, this caricature blasts away, depicting Hollywood’s view of what “we Right-wingers” must be like—you know, when we’re away from the public eye, in our meetin’s! Oh, heck yeah! Is this Tea Party shindig done yet? We’s all gotta hood up and go hunt some gays and non-white folks! And we’s gotta hurry, cuz’ we’s gotta git up fer church tomorrow mornin’! Yee-haw!
I just sat watching this, rubbing my temple…but then it got worse.
Thanks to a mind-control device being used by Valentine, uncontrolled mayhem erupts in the church, as the film’s producers gleefully chop up and impale all the parishioners with carnage that would make Braveheart shield his eyes. Going on and on in a veritable orgy of “white hater” slaughter, the scene provides a glimpse of Hollywood’s “tolerance.” It’s like that awkward moment when someone at a dinner party shares too much of their views. Laughing nervously, you say, “Okay, I got it, Bob! Why don’t we just get you outside, away from all these drinks, ‘kay? No, your wife can join us later—she needs a moment…”
Oh well, the film has some balance. Valentine, after all, is an eco-terrorist, so that’s something. But the anti-Right stuff—in fact, all the political stuff—is so clumsy and needless that it slows down the plot. Even the violence becomes cartoonish, with hundreds of heads exploding in some sort of 1960’s, lava lamp rainbow bursts. Weird. It's like watching The Beatles battle The Blue Meanies in "Yellow Submarine." I was thinking, "How could anyone get stoned enough to make this?"
Once the film starts preaching and insulting, everything derails. Yikes.
Still, all in all, “Kingsman” is entertaining. It’s a high-action romp with plenty of great visuals and a decent storyline. It’s also just 2 hours, 8 minutes—allowing me ample time for getting to my next meetin’. Yeeeeeeeeeeeee-haw!