Kingsmen: The Secret Service

 

20th Century Fox

 

Rating: R

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.

 

Plot Summary: A British secret-Secret Service recruits a young man and sends him to defeat a maniac bent on unleashing terror throughout the world.

 

PopFam Recommends: Creative and fun to watch, but violent - certainly deserved the R rating.

 

In a day with so many comic book heroes coming to life, it's kind of refreshing to see a comic book-to-movie that doesn't have anything to do with super-human abilities. Kingsmen wasn't that kind of comic book, and this isn't your typical spy movie, either.

 

Kingsmen is a super secret spy service, or "gentlemen," led by Arthur (Michael Caine), which really isn't his real name, since no good spy actually uses his real name. All the members of this elite spy ring go by the names of knights or wizards from the Middle Ages. When one dies, remaining members send in a recruit, who then goes through months of rigorous training, until only one remains. So, when Lancelot (Jack Davenport) dies, Galahad/Harry Hart (Colin Firth) recommends Eggsy (Taron Egerton), the son of a previous member. Eggsy isn't anything close to a gentlemen and certainly doesn't fit in with the other recruits, but he's quick on his feet and streetwise, which he discovers is really what's needed for the job.

 

Egerton, who is a newcomer, does well holding his own against seasoned actors like Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays Valentine, a well-respected businessman, giving away SIM cards, which allow free calls and internet access for life. But this SIM card isn't just a SIM card, and Valentine's real motives aren't so benevolent. As his evil plan unfolds, it may make you question how much you give away so freely.

 

The movie has kind of a Get Smart feel, using comedy to amuse while telling a story. You can't help but laugh when Harry is showing Eggsy how a knife comes out of the tip of his shoe, and reminisces that it used to be a phone. Or when Eggsy mentions that he named his dog "JB." Not for James Bond or Jason Bourne, but Jack Bauer. The writing is smart and quick, with a plot that's straightforward but hugely entertaining. It seems to carry on effortlessly.

 

Parents should be aware that this movie does contain scenes of violence that may be disturbing. One scene in particular may be hard to watch, with slow motion cinematography of people being hacked with an axe, or impaled with a pole, or shot in the face. I'm pretty sure it's not the language that earned Kingsmen the R rating, but the graphic violence and one sexually laced scene. It's also the reason parents should be wary of taking anyone under 17 to see this movie.

 

Overall, though, Kingsmen is entertaining. It's a creative take on the traditional spy movie that celebrates James Bond, Jason Bourne, and all other spy movies that have come before.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Several times in the movie, Harry tells Eggsy that he has more potential and value that he realizes, and continues to give Eggsy encouragement as he grows into a Kingsmen. How is this like what you have experienced with God?

 

• The Princess (and other famous people) was willing to go to prison instead of buying into Valentine's cleansing of the world. What values do you hold true to when faced with those that are in opposition to your own?

 

• Harry's office is lined with inane headlines, marking the dates of secret activities he's performed over the years. How is this like the humility Christians are to display? What verses can you think of that support this?

 

--JW

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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