The first words I spoke after I finished watching the trailer for this movie were, “That looks, interesting.” Turns out, I was completely correct. This is directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) and stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, and new-ish actor, Taron Egerton. A troublemaking boy named Gary catches the eye of a British intelligence agency, because according to Harry (Firth) he has potential. As Gary (Taron) trains with Harry, a villain (Samuel L. Jackson) is executing his detailed plan to rid the world of a certain, “virus”.
Let’s begin with the story. For the most part, it is pretty solid. It has a firm understanding of storytelling, character and pacing. Sadly, there are a few drawbacks. For one, during the climax, a character in the movie makes a decision that the rest of the movie totally forgets to follow through with. However, the most glaring (and somewhat insulting) flaw with this story is its overall goofy/comical “Don’t take me too seriously” tone. Other people have gotten angry over the end of the film because of this, but I am angry because there are really serious moments in this movie that even some people in real life can relate to. Heck, the kid lives in an abusive relationship which they show and tell multiple times (it’s very graphic). Then in the next scene, they talk about British spy movies and break the fourth wall. The movie is supposed to be a fun comedy with just enough seriousness to keep things interesting, when you do something like this; it feels like you’re just robbing me of my feelings. I don’t like that. Besides that, the story is fun, tense, and decent enough.
Next on the agenda, the cast. Man, everyone is amazing in this picture! The only minor complaint would be Samuel’s lisp. It doesn’t seem necessary, and they never use it as a joke, but because his acting is superb, I can move past it. As for the characters, Gary is a worthy protagonist. Harry is indeed awesome in every sense of the word. Valentine (Samuel) is a fun, yet rip off-ish villain, and the remaining are decent. Aside from one character that I felt had zero dimension, and the secondary bad guy who was extremely interesting and should have had more of a backstory, memorable characters are abundant here.
Lastly, the action. It’s fantastic! Skyfall level stuff. Matthew Vaughn’s best asset (in my opinion) is his direction during action scenes. It’s no different here, and (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) the shaky cam he uses actually works! Some of the actors do their own stunts, and Vaughn uses his shaky cam to make that work. Although this is not the best action movie ever, it certainly isn’t the worst. It’s definitely worth a watch. This gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B-.