Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson
“Manners Maketh Men”: How to Fight Like a Kingsman Agent
By Courtney Adkisson
We’ve all been attracted by those James Bond spy movies. Nice tech, nice car and secret agents saving the world. But what if it was different? What if it was better? And…proper? Well I guess all spies are “proper” in their own way. But the Kingsman: The Secret Service puts James Bond spy agents to a whole new level. Not only does it have an incredible cast (Colin Firth, has to be one of my new favorite actors since The King’s Speech and Samuel L. Jackson is just crazy in this film), but I think there’s a whole other flavor to how these spies operate. There’s no real rules other than to survive. And if you cause trouble the leader, Colin Firth will certainly “teach you a lesson”.
So how is this different from any other spy movie? Well one thing that’s odd is that it’s not just an action/adventure kind of movie. It’s actually also part comedy. Don’t believe me? Well you’re going to have to see it for yourself. Also, the shots of the film, every frame is amazing and detailed (not excluding the very unique fight scenes). Now I will warn you that if you’re squeamish with violence, blood or gore, watch at your own risk. There’s a lot of Quentin Tarantino kind of crazy violence happening. But that’s not the only thing that goes on in the movie.
Speaking of those fight scenes however, that’s something I would love to talk about. Not the gore and gruesome details obviously. But there was a way the cinematographer captured those scenes that made me go…holy cow they got away with that?! Anyway, this is something I really want you to look at with this film: the cinematography aka the camera movements, angles, zoom in and outs, framing, etc. Okay maybe not all of that but I’m not kidding when I say every shot is ridiculous, has a purpose and is absolutely amazing. You know when you get bored with certain things in a movie? That doesn’t happen with this one. In some scenes, I honestly believed it must’ve all been done in one continuous take. That’s when you know you’re cameraman (and possibly the director) knows what they’re doing when you see these shots.
Again this is not atypical of a spy movie. However, what sticks out from other spy/adventure movies really to me was the fact was how they shot the fight scenes. Everyone can stare at Daniel Craig in James Bond as he takes out a few bad guys. But when Colin Firth is in the picture, well…you see everything happening to the bad guy. And I mean everything. It’s pretty gruesome. But it’s also very clever in it’s own way.
For a cinematographer to do what he did in this movie it takes a lot of practice, patience and risk. There’s a lot of movement and the cinematographer/director wanted you to feel how tight and personal these shots were. It’s very difficult to get moving shots. You have to understand that to use something like a steady-cam, you get amazing shots.
As a film major it was clever. As a viewer it was incredible. The action was definitely something I haven’t seen before in movies. The gliding swift movements to see every kick, punch, stab, reckless and precision based fighting. The unbelievable tests these agents have to go through to basically survive their training. The gore (might I say yuck and ow), with the up close and personal oh my god that’s real kind of feeling. This movie has definitely earned the title of “action packed”. The story is pretty solid, but the most I’m going to remember is the cinematography. I clap to the production crew for all the precise choreography (probably took months to get down) and the fabulous way of portraying such an action packed sequence. I definitely rate this as an action film you need to see: 10/10.