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'Kingsman: The Secret Service': Here's what critics are saying about the action movie

Is 'Kingsman' worth checking out? The movie stars actors Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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    'Kingsman: The Secret Service' stars Colin Firth (l.) and Taron Egerton (r.).
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For those who didn’t want to see one of the multiple romantic films being released this weekend, the action film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was another option for a night at the movies.

However, “Kingsman,” which centers on a teenager (Taron Egerton) recruited for a secret spy organization by one of its members (Colin Firth), has received middling to negative reviews from critics so far. 

Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave the movie a B- and wrote that Samuel L. Jackson of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” playing the villain is the highlight of the film. 

“Camping it up, Jackson is hilarious,” Rainer wrote. 

The film currently has a score of 58 out of 100 on the review aggregator site Metacritic. Jordan Hoffman of the Guardian was one critic who found the film passable, awarding it four stars out of five. 

“Wildly enjoyable,” Hoffman wrote. “The spirit of 007 is all over this movie, but Vaughn’s script has a licence to poke fun… the overall vibe is sheer glee… The action scenes delight with shock humor.” 

And Variety critic Peter Debruge wrote of the movie, “’Kingsman’ brings the irreverence back to the British spy genre… gleefully pushing audiences’ favorite elements… Few of the year’s films have been so openly covetous of material possessions, which sits oddly with the movie’s open resentment of extreme wealth.”

However, New York Times critic Manohla Dargis wrote, “As this bludgeoning movie grinds to a halt, its gears clogged by viscera and narrative overkill, even those who enjoy go-go gore may end up yearning for the soft touch and subtleties of Guy Ritchie… The problem is that Mr. Vaughn has no interest in, or perhaps understanding of, violence as a cinematic tool… his lack of modulation ruins ‘Kingsman’… That’s too bad, because someone here has assembled a fine cast.”

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune also did not like the film's violence. 

“Silly, sadistic and finally a little galling,” Phillips wrote of the movie. “Taron Egerton is engaging… [but] If you don't like the way the action's handled in an action movie, you are in trouble… I find the jocularity of Vaughn's gamer-style violence a drag. After an hour I wanted some visual clarity and something more than a few jokes about the tropes of the spy movie genre.”

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