Kingsman: The Secret Service falls short of “summer blockbuster” status by virtue of more than just its February release. Its R-rating is earned, at least in part, through some spectacularly violent moments whose absence, were they to be edited out for broader audience appeal, would leave the movie bland. For genre fans like me it’s way better than the usual February fare, but I can see why 20th Century Fox opted out of a spring or summer release.
This film is a rags-to-riches super-spy mashup that nods to its forebears with all the subtlety of an exploding head. So, brief nod, then ASPLODEYGOO. Its core premise is no more or less absurd than the ones found in the usual “save the world” superhero films, and the dastardly plot is a blend of chilling “what if” and brow-lifting “WTF.”
In short, it’s spot-on. If you loved the action scenes in The Matrix trilogy, and have a soft spot for dapper do-gooders for whom “good” means “over the top awesome,” you’ll enjoy Kingsman: The Secret Service. I did, and as of this writing it’s #1 for me for the year.
There’s still a lot of year left, though. This clears my Threshold of Awesome, but may drop a dozen notches before the year is out.