Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Film Review - Kingsman: The Secret Service - Archetypes

Fig. 1 Kingsman, (Film Poster, 2014)

Released in 2014, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a comedic spy film directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass and Layer Cake). It tells the story of 'Eggsy', a young down-and-out who is unexpectedly recruited by a secret spy organization. Eggsy's father was a member of the agency before him and was killed saving the lives of his colleagues when his son was just a young child. Colin Firth plays 'Harry Hart' (code-named 'Galahad') and mentors Eggsy through his training with the help of 'Merlin', a senior Kingsman played by Mark Strong.

Fig.2 Galahad and Eggsy (Film still, 2014)

The threshold guardians in our story are Eggsy's abusive step-father and the rival group of teenagers in the neighborhood. An argument breaks out every time they meet, which usually ends in a fight. In some ways this makes them villains in the story but when Hart arrives to take Eggsy to his training, they unsuccessfully attempt to block the way. The herald throughout the story seems to be Eggsy's mum as he wants to do everything he can to protect her and improve her life. However, towards the end of the film he has an encounter with Princess Tilde, one of the VIPs that Valentine has taken prisoner and she acts as a love interest and therefore another possible herald. 

Fig. 3 Gazelle and Valentine (Film still, 2014)

Samuel L. Jackson plays the villain or 'shadow' in the film as internet billionaire 'Valentine'. He is accompanied by his female sidekick 'Gazelle' who has razor sharp artificial legs and is played by Sofia Boutella. Valentine's ploy is to market smart cards which allow the user free internet and calls for life. Once a signal is broadcast by Valentine, the owners of the smart cards become extremely violent and start attacking each other. It is up to the members of Kingsman to apprehend Valentine and Gazelle. The shape-shifter in our story comes in the form of 'Arthur', the head of Kingsman, played by Michael Caine. Arthur's true allegiance is only shown towards the end of the film and Eggsy is left to save the day.

Fig. 4 Confronting old enemies as a Kingsman (Film still, 2014)
'Kingsman: The Secret Service' has received mixed reviews, and a sequel is already in the making, with plans to begin filming in April 2016. Chris Hewitt describes the film in his Empire Online review as "Exhilarating, morally dubious and exhausting, it pitches the film headfirst into its utterly demented third act." (Hewitt, s.d.). Although the trailers may not give the film the credit it deserves, 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' is a surprisingly enjoyable and funny film. With touches of Bond and Bourne, the movie keeps the audience hooked throughout with lots of explosive and fun-filled moments.

Fig. 5 The 'new' Eggsy (Film still, 2014)

Hewitt, C (s.d.), Empire Online review, At:

Hoffman, J (30th December 2014), The Guardian review, At:

Illustration List:

Fig. 1 - Kingsman (2014) [movie poster] At:
(accessed 08.10.15)

Fig. 2 - Galahad and Eggsy (2014) [film still] At:
(accessed 08.10.15)

Fig. 3 -  Gazelle and Valentine (2014) [film still] At:
(accessed 08.10.15)

Fig. 4 - Confronting old enemies as a Kingsman (2014) [film still] At:
(accessed 08.10.15)

Fig. 5 - The 'new' Eggsy (2014) [film still] At:
(accessed 08.10.15)

1 comment:

  1. I can see why this movie had mixed reviews...I thought it was fun though.