The King’s Man
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2014, director Matthew Vaughn unleashed Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar’s comic book, and fans were blown away by the awesome spectacle of it all. With it’s success there was no doubt we would get more entries into this unexpected new franchise and in 2017 we got the first sequel The Kingsman: The Golden Circle that expanded the universe. Now after the long pandemic delay we are heading back to the franchise with the prequel The King’s Man, but does it bring the same level of fun chaotic action and intrigue or will it be stuck in the past?
The King’s Man goes back to where it all began where a collection of history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions and one man must race against time to stop them. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance with Matthew Vaughn once again directing.
I love the first two films even though the second one went into a bit of a sillier direction. Like most I was hoping to get another sequel, but after seeing the trailers for this one felt this could really bring some new fun to the franchise and I wasn’t wrong. Sadly not all of it works and ended up being a mixed bag of entertainment for me. This is the kind of entry to the series that is really unnecessary and doesn’t really offer anything new to what came before it other than a different place to expand the legacy, but it also feels like two different films combined.
The first half of this film feels like a different animal and works, but made me feel more why do I need to see all this than excitement leading to the future. The story is interesting and works it is just so unnecessary that it made it hard for me to get fully invested. It is so all over the place trying to
cram in the world building of this time period its like we are starting over in a franchise we have already gotten invested in for no reason. That doesn’t mean its not good, just not the direction I think was necessary for this franchise.
The cast are good with Fiennes stepping it up as an action star to great success, but also a tormented figure dealing with so much loss it is a while before we see that version of him. The story with his son played by Harris Dickinson feels like the most important element to the story, but does not go where you think and ends up being kind of one note for me. The whole Rasputin thing is some of the more outlandish elements with Rhys Ifans chewing up every scene having a blast and offers up one of the best action sequences in the film, but also just confusing.
The tone is very similar to the other films just taking place in the past and the use of some old world technology is clever making it still entertain despite its shortcomings. There is also a ton of over the top action as expected that is a lots of fun to watch and makes the film work more than it doesn’t. There are some fun nods to both of the previous films in clever ways and I would lying to say that I wouldn’t want to see more adventures from this timeline. If they delve back into this world just let it be its own thing and let’s get back to the other as well.
They have announced they are heading back to finish the Eggsy story so hopefully this one does well enough to keep some form of this franchise alive and we can keep diving into the chaotic fun action that we all love from the world of The Kingsman.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including documentaries and featurettes taking you behind bringing this latest entry in the franchise to life. Grab your copy of The King’s Man available now on digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD from Disney and 20th Century Studios.
They have also brought the entire series together for the first time in The Kingsman Collection on both digital and collectible steelbook that features all three films and bonus features.