The King’s Man | Director: Matthew Vaughn | Rating: 8.2/11 |
After what feels like a decade of delays, The King’s Man is finally here. Set as a prequel to the Kingsman movies we already know and love, The King’s Man allows viewers to effectively watch the birth of this secret independent international intelligence agency. Throughout the course of the film you’ll learn the hows and the whys behind everything, including where the code names like Merlin came from and why it’s oxfords not brogues.
Now there’s certain expectations that come with the Kingsman movies; they are charming, witty, and have a trademark fighting style. The King’s Man features two of these three components, it’s witty and the fight choreography is once again next level while maintaining familiarity. For example, the elements of the Russian ballet added into the Rasputin fight scene were masterful. If the characters, or writing, had just been slightly more charming this film would have knocked it out of the park. Also, could we have Daniel Brühl play anything else besides a German bad guy? Sure, he does it well (he’s wonderful as Baron Zemo in the MCU), but let’s break out of the typecasting.
Taking place in the early 1900s all the way through World War I allows the perfect backdrop of historical events and figures to enter the storyline and give cause/need for the Kingsman existence. The highlight of which being every scene with Rasputin (side note: fans of The Great on Hulu might especially enjoy these moments). Rasputin, portrayed by Rhys Ifans, is simply the perfect villain even if he’s not the main antagonist of the film.
Director, producer and writer Matthew Vaughn continues to deliver excellence in the Kingsman franchise, with every moment of this film masterfully shot. Watching Conrad, portrayed by Harris Dickinson, become a war hero felt like a scene out of 1917. The cinematic scope is breathtaking. Conrad being the son of The Duke of Oxford, The Duke of Oxford, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, being a founding member of Kingsman. Plus we get a strong female character! Polly, portrayed by Gemma Arterton, is a maid in The Duke of Oxford’s household, but she’s also his most trusted confidant, highly intelligent and a badass sharpshooter.
While The King’s Man is not the strongest of the, thus far, three Kingsman films, it is by no means a bad film. Filled with easter eggs you’ll recall from the previous films (you might consider a rewatch), The King’s Man will only whet your palette for future Kingsman films.