Not only is Kingsman: The Secret Service a secret agent movie, it’s a secret agent movie about suave, well-dressed, British secret agents—so it’s treading on some pretty well worn ground. Add in the fact that these fashionable spies use a variety of high tech gadgets in their work, they battle silly, cartoon villains, and they have a series of sprawling though hidden secret bases, and one begins to wonder what this new film could possibly have to offer that we haven’t already gotten from the countless James Bond movies that have been released since the early 60s. Well, while it’s true that Kingsman is definitely a very self-aware take on the Bond franchise, it’s also crasser, more overtly comedic, and more exploitively violent than most of what we’ve gotten from 007 over the years, which keeps things just fresh enough.
The hero of the story is a young man from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks named Eggsy (Taron Egerton). Though he’s smart and athletic and probably has a lot of potential, living life in a crime-riddled neighborhood with only a single mother to watch out for him has recently seen him making poor life decisions. A chance to turn it all around comes when he gets pegged to possibly become a Kingsman though. You see, his father was once a part of the organization, but died in the line of duty, so they feel like they owe the kid a favor, and seeing as they’ve just experienced their latest casualty thanks to a conflict with a megalomaniacal captain of industry (Samuel L. Jackson), the best way to do that is to add him to the highly capable group of young people who have been recruited to compete to be his replacement. Eggsy’s goals, then, are to earn his place as the newest Kingsman, help his new mentors in the agency (Colin Firth and Mark Strong) foil the plans of their dangerous new adversary, and prove to movie audiences all over the world that him doing so is an entertaining enough proposition for this origin story to launch a successful new franchise (presumably).