After a quick Fish and Chips and David and Val’s (Fish and Baked Potato for me!- smug Lent Boy alert), it was off to the Odeon in Kettering to see Kingsman - The Secret Service. It seems to have been on for ages, and I was pretty sure the Screen would be empty. Wrong! it was actually difficult to get four seats together! As it turned out, we ended up in row C - three from the front, and a unique opportunity to teach my eyes to work independently from each other, to accommodate the wide-screen!!
The story? It was a sort of tongue-in-cheek comedy-drama based around ’Kingsman’, an ultra secret group of gentlemen spies, and adapted from a comic book - sorry, graphic novel - of the same name.
Starring some big hitters - Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson (at his most cookiest!) and Michael Caine - and the unknown (to me anyway) Taron Egerton, the signs were good for a rollicking good film. Stars-wise, the surprise was the character of Professor Arnold, played by non-other than, Stars Wars heart throb, Mark Hamill!
Actually, I guess the film could have gone either way - a daft adaptation, that tried too hard, or an excellent adaptation, book-to-screen, from the novel. For me, it was the latter, where half the fun was spotting the references to other spy dramas. I spotted four: The Bond-esque music; the umbrella (John Steed/The Avengers); the secret HQ fronted by a Tailors (Man from U.N.C.L.E), and Michael Caine betraying his roots, perhaps, in the final scene (the Harry Palmer films?).
It didn’t take itself too seriously, and that added to the fun, although, I did feel it all went a bit ‘bonkers’ towards the end - ‘bonk’ being entirely relevant (Bond reference again?)
A small word of warning though: the film is VERY violent. There’s one scene where it’ll put you off going to a church service forever!
..and the language! In order to give those ‘sarf-lundun’ scenes some extra cred, the language is very colourful, including frequent use of the f-word - even Mr D’Arcy effed his way through a couple of scenes. Definitely not one to take your Granny to see then! - Pride and Prejudice this isn’t!!!