THE KINGSMAN: FULL, SECOND TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED.
Does it reveal too much? Am I ‘sold’? Yes, no, dunno..meh..I kinda preferred the first, to be honest.
Why do I have reservations?
- RALPH FIENNES: he is front and centre, here. And nobody can deny he is not just a good but a GREAT actor. Stage, screen: you name it, he can do it. But he excels at a ‘type’ of character. Either PURE eeeevil (Schindler’s List, Harry Potter) or as a reserved, restrained civil servant type (Constant Gardener). He can of course ‘do’ action: Strange Days. But sticking him in as action hero / mentor du jour just does not ‘cut’ it for me. It stilts him, emotionally, lacking scenery substance for his abilities to chew up on screen, via script. It’s why he was so miscast in 1998’s The Avengers (no, not that one) and equally, to my mind, as the new ‘M’ in the Bond movies (he is only five minutes older than Daniel Craig!). So this is the same miscasting, repeated and it shows, immediately. Unless of course they pull a MASSIVE twist and he is the baddie?!
- There is no clear hero here. No ‘way in’ fish out of water scenario that made the original KINGSMAN such a hit. This might well be a prequel. But it could still use a Taron Egerton. Even a Mark Strong (playing his own Great Grandad, maybe?) would have been welcome. If something is conspicuous by its absence then it defines a brand and the movie will suffer by failing to fill the slot adequately.
- GEMMA ARTERTON is in this. GREAT! ADORABLE! BEAUTIFUL! I had the privilege of once meeting the girl and was rendered speechless by quite how jaw droppingly lovely she is. Gemma is also a great actress and equally adept at stage and screen. Key to her appeal, beyond an innate presence and beauty, is voice. It’s a natural fusion of a tough time working her way through RADA training via bar work in London and the actual, crystal cut vowels of a top flight performer who both exudes and transcends class.
SO WHY HAVE THEY CAST HER AS WHAT APPEARS A NORTHERNER, in a role akin to the Maid in an Agatha Christie adaptation on ITV? Bizarre. A shockingly wasteful failure to deploy Gemma, properly!
- THERE IS A B MOVIE VIBE HERE: I am still left thinking LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN and VAN HELSING, rather than new take on 007 or even a reinvention of Kingsman!
- SOCIAL POLITICS: We clearly have a German / semi-serious, post WW1 vibe here. WHY? THIS IS NOT A WAR YOU CAN TRANSLATE TO FUN, PULPY ADVENTURE! Besides, Sam Mendes‘ forthcoming 1917 movie will blow away ANY movie covering a similar era, whatever its genre. We also get bare chested IN NO WAY AT ALL HOMOEROTIC wrestling, with what appears to be Djimon Hounsou playing some sort of Butler?
How very progressive. The WOKE crows will LOVE this, right? Bollox.
This yet again repeats the previous movies’ mistakes of equating old school Brit pseudo-snobbery to ‘class’, whilst claiming the opposite motif. One forgave their error before for the sheer charming joy and good will on display (missing her, badly).
Oh and the baddie looks a BIT like RASPUTIN! Racist..against Russians. 😉
YES: remain curious, even hopeful. Of course I will see this. And it may do some good business at opening weekend, based on brand recognition and curiosity at its reinvention. But I’m not ‘wowed’ and above all..I am just not CHARMED. Yet. But hey. It’s just a trailer: For Downton Abbey.,.with swords and an odd social /political tone? Plus, Matthew Vaughn gave us all X MEN: FIRST CLASS and that is one my most favouritest films, ever.
So there is some hope..just.
JAMES MURPHY IS A KINGSMAN. AND A TIME-LORD. He is (1)12.