Matthew Vaughn

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is the Bond adventure they don’t make anymore

While officially the script to Kingsman: The Secret Service is credited to director Matthew Vaughn and fellow scribe Jane Goldman, the truth of the matter is that the film represents a reunification of sorts between the veteran British director and comic book author and ‘enfant terrible’ Mark Millar. Their first foray into cinematically transposing a comic book was with 2010’s Kick-Ass,

‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ is more smarm than charm

There’s a hilarious moment in the classic ‘80s comedy Planes, Trains & Automobiles when Steve Martin has finally had enough of John Candy’s inane anecdotes. “When you’re telling these little stories,” he instructs Candy, “here’s a good idea… have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!” If only the makers of the new spy actioner Kingsman: The Secret Service had taken that advice. Despite all of its self-satisfied smugness, Kingsman neglects to give us a coherent story, consistent tone, or anything worth caring about. It’s ironic that a film trying so hard to be inventive and outrageous ends up being such a derivative bore.

‘Kick-Ass’ lacks thematic consistency but packs in a lot of guilty fun

Unquestionably one of the principle elements that put fear into studio at the thought of financing Kick-Ass was the level of unfiltered violence featured throughout. Witnessing bullets ripping through flesh is nothing knew for anyone who has paid attention to recent action films, and experiencing the slicing and dicing of body limbs with a shiny sword should sound familiar to those who have seen the Kill Bill films, but it is the way the violence is handled at times in Kick-Ass that differentiates it from many other movies of the same ilk.

‘Kick-Ass 2’ a smirky, incoherent, unpleasant jumble of a superhero satire

Kick-Ass 2 is a rare film, one that is so messy and unpleasant that it makes one wonder if its predecessor was actually any good. The cast has, mostly, returned, but director Matthew Vaughn has stepped back into the producer’s chair. Maybe that’s the issue, or maybe the graphic novel series on which this sequel is based is just too mean-spirited and nasty to make a satisfying transition to the big screen. Whatever the case, Kick-Ass 2 is a misguided, uncomfortable, cartoonish, and gratuitously violent affair that’s best ignored.

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