spy

‘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.

‘The November Man’ is all filler and no killer

Back in February, it seemed almost unfathomable that 2014 could produce a more listless spy thriller than 3 Days to Kill. Oh, for a return to those bygone days of innocence. There’s a new kid on the block and he looks a lot like the guy who used to be James Bond. Based on a popular series of ‘80’s espionage novels, The November Man feels less like an adaptation and more like the outtakes from some mediocre made-for-television movie. It’s a Frankenstein creation of re-cycled plots and villains, pieced together with lethargic pacing and turgid action sequences. Where are the invisible cars when you need them?

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