Kingsman: The Secret Service is the story of Eggsy and his journey in joining the Kingsmen, a non-government group of gentleman spies separate from the bureaucracy that plagues normal intelligence agencies. It was a group founded during the world wars by a group of very wealthy rich men, and has a structure where positions are titled based on Arthurian legend, primarily the Knights of the Round Table. Hence there is a set number of members, each with the title of one of the knights, and upon the passing of a member, each other member proposes a member, and after a number of trials and training, the winning entrant inherits the title of the empty position. This group unsurprisingly, considering its origin and culture, has traditionally been composed of those that come from old money, and the attitude of many in the group is that it should stay that way. However, a certain member, code-name Galahad, tries to change that. As he says, a gentleman is not something someone is born as, rather something someone learns to be. When a member unexpectedly dies, he nominates Eggsy, someone who grew up on the streets, but that he finds to be smart and loyal with untapped potential. Eggsy competes against a number of others for this position. Meanwhile, the rest of the Kingsman begin their search for who killed their lost member, revealing an epic plot that could completely change the world as we know it, and ultimately Eggsy is thrown into the thick of it.
Overall the plot is pretty close to the old style spy movies with gentleman spies, but “This ain’t that kind of movie, bruv”. The film is a very interesting take on the gentleman spy films of old, in that it isn’t just composed of the tropes, but rather acknowledges them, embraces them, and extends them. It lays on very thick what being a gentleman means, and it make it seem awesome. The Kingsman as a spy organization has style to a greater degree than any other organization I’ve seen in any other spy movie. And watching Eggsy grow from just a street smart kid into a proper gentleman was incredibly enjoyable to watch. The last scene in particular in the bar where things come full circle was amazing. And as I especially love “rags to riches” type movies, I especially enjoyed this. The larger plot was also well done. The villain was really cool. Not really believable, though that hardly matters in these types of movies. But he was a colorful character that fulfilled the role very well. The villainous scheme fit neatly into what one would expect from a Bond villain, so it was somewhat generic, but it worked. Some plot points such as almost everyone with any importance on Earth dying was completely out there, and considering they’re making a sequel I wonder how that’ll play into the future.
It also managed to get everything else important that it needed to get right, right. The action scenes were amazingly well done. The Church Scene in particular was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It also got the humor perfect, fitting perfectly well with the style it was going for.
Overall, an amazing take on a gentleman spy movie.