In “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” directed by Matthew Vaughn and based on the popular comic book, Firth’s Harry Hart is an expertly tailored gentleman who is actually a ranking member of a hush-hush spy organization, modeled on the Knights of the Round Table, dedicated to eradicating bad guys. Chief bad guy here is Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine, a billionaire entrepreneur with a nefarious plan to curb global warming by eradicating large swaths of the world’s population. He’s like a classic Bond villain except he spouts profanity, favors baseball caps, and thinks Big Macs are gourmet food. Camping it up, Jackson is hilarious.
Other big names show up, including Michael Caine as the Kingsmen’s head honcho, but the film centers on Hart’s protégé, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), who gradually transforms from petty thief to superspy as the film periodically explodes in an orgy of flailing limbs.
Egerton is a serviceable young action star and since this film is primed for a multitude of sequels, he will surely have the opportunity to play the part well into old age. Grade: B- (Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.)