During World War I, the Kingsman agency begins to form in a stand against those who betray their countries, going to places that the secret service cannot reach.
The King’s Man is a step back in time and a prequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, showing how the organisation begin and what it was all really about. This had to be a forward step as The Golden Circle did not quite live up to the levels of The Secret Service.
We get plenty of new and different characters thrown into the mixer and some of them are rather well known historical figures. Orlando Oxford is a our reluctant leading man who has done nothing but protect his son Conrad for the past twelve years after the murder of his mother Emily. As he has gotten older and with the war breaking out Conrad wants nothing more than to go and fight for his country, using his military links from his own time serving Orlando ensures that his son will never see a battle field with Kitchener firmly on his side.
However, as he then ventures to Russia the father/son duo work very well together and the set of skills his father possess somewhat impresses Conrad. Orlando hopes that helping his country and coming up against Grigori Rasputin would be enough, however Conrad gets his wish to enlist and with a change in identity with a fellow solider it certainly does not go to plan at all. That was the first twist I really did not see coming at all and it pushed the emotional levels of the film very high and I was not expecting that either, a very nice surprise it has to be said. With his trusty workers Polly and Shola by his side, who are so much more than the staff they appear to be!
There was another surprise which was even better than that quite frankly! While all that was going on, some man, a Scottish man for a matter of fact who we never get to see his face sets up people from around the world to be his strange gang. Giving them all rings with different animals on and living on a remote cliff. Seriously though I totally thought it was Alan Cummings, sounded exactly like him! Anyway who that character was gave it a very good twist, I couldn’t help but laugh though with the claims that a Scottish man was behind the war in a way to get back at England.
The pace of the film was very good throughout and Ralph Fiennes gave everything that I had hoped for in this type of role. Isn’t this his spy role and everything we can then pretend that M did before becoming M in Bond? Anyway Gemma Arterton was a standout and given a fantastic character in Polly and pretty much the driving force in what would become the Kingsman agency. Djimon Hounsou was a joy as well, having great chemistry with Fiennes and Arterton. Harris Dickinson was also very good and mixed in well with them all. Rhys Ifans was truly hilarious as Rasputin and the way he was dance fighting was a highlight in terms of standout scenes. Was great to see Charles Dance on the big screen again as well! Massive shoutout and credit to the utter genius who had Tom Hollander take on three roles, outstanding casting!