This evening we went to see Kingsman, the latest collaboration between Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn. Just like Kick-Ass, there’s hyper-violent scenes played a bit too much for humourous effect. My wife laughed uproariously throughout these, which makes me a little bit concerned.

Because I don’t like people making noise when I’m watching films in the cinema.

There’s Michael Caine, there’s Colin Firth, there’s what feels like half the actors that have worked with Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn. After a while I find this distracting; I spent some of my time trying to figure out who was in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and who was a Layer Cake alumnus. There was also Jack Davenport for about five minutes, who I haven’t seen in anything since Coupling, that failed 90s British riposte to Friends.

The plot – well, that’s very silly. There are lots of gadgets (including poisoned shoes that are lifted straight from James Bond, although they were a weapon of the evil Rosa Klebb rather than Bond himself). There’s a megalomaniac plotting to destroy the world, there are rather too many gory scenes that go on a bit too long, and to make it edgy they have lots of effing and blinding going on. And some posh people who don’t understand legerdemain.

Not to knock it; it’s mostly two hours of diversionary silliness, but when a pivotal scene has the set decorated with front pages from the Sun, you begin to think maybe it isn’t just harmless fun and there are some dodgy politics at play too.

Anyway, the whole thing is clearly readying itself for a sequel, but is still nicely self-contained. If you don’t mind lots (and lots) of violence, it’s a tolerable couple of hours.

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