The King's Man

#Review: The King’s Man

Reader Rating0 Votes

Out this week in cinemas is the prequel to the subversive spy action-adventure Kingsman films, The King’s Man. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton and Djimon Hounsou this film gives fans the origin story of the celebrated superspies.

Set in 1914 The King’s Man tells the story of how a group of international anarchists plan to bring down England by sparking a world war. To try and bring the world back from the brink is Lord Oxford (Fiennes), his son Conrad (Dickinson) and his underground connections led by Polly (Arterton) and Shola (Hounsou). On the side of the devils is a group of histories greatest monsters and throughout the film, Oxford and the gang will have to face off against them for King and country.

Manners maketh man

The King’s Man is a brilliant film. It is eccentric, wild and filled to the brim with unpredictable moments that even when you see them you won’t believe them. I say this because when the mid-credits scene hit (yes there is a mid-credits scene) I told it to some people and they couldn’t believe the madness. I say this because The King’s Man deals in turning historical figures in that era into mythical figures. For example, one of the antagonists is Grigori Rasputin (play with gusto by Rhy Ifans) and in history, he was quite the figure. In the film, he is monstrous, horny and he is full of a twisted ego. When he is in a room he commands it and Ifans is clearly having a blast.

Along for the ride is our protagonists Oxford and Conrad. They are an excellent father/son duo and their chemistry is convincing and at times quite emotional. Oxford is afraid of losing his son to war and it is one of the driving forces of his quest in this film. The contentious nature arises between him and Conrad due to Conrad wanting to go out onto the frontlines to fight for his country. As the film goes on their relationship is fleshed out and gives further weight to the events surrounding them.

The King's Man

Time to pour fuel on the fire

The King’s Man for me is almost a perfect action film. Matthew Vaughan brings his signature style to the action. There are many scenes to gush over, for me a particular favourite involved a silent knife fight between twelve people in no man’s land. It was stellar. Add to that the usual cinematic flair that Kingsman made famous when it came out years ago and I really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, the film has several glaring issues. These include the theme of pacifism and how really the only way to win is to beat the crap out of everyone instead of trying to preserve life. Also, the film’s pacing is all over the place, the line’s between each act stopping and the next one beginning are so blatant you might trip on them. For me, though these didn’t stop me from having a lot of fun with The King’s Man. There are many standout performances in particular Ralph Fiennes who carries this film with incredible emotion and energy. Kingsman is back with this latest entry and I highly recommend it to all you gentlemen and ladies out there.

Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.