Colin Firth breaks out of his romantic lead niche to become an action movie star in ‘Kingman: The Secret Service,’ and we’ll call it one of the top ten films of the year right now.
Spy movies have been around almost as long as the cinema. Great Britain produced the first spy movies during the silent era and the Great War (or World War I). Master German director Fritz Lang contributed to the genre (and pretty much set the standard) with his movie Spies in 1928. Lang’s Dr. Mabuse films also contained a host of spy film elements. Alfred Hitchcock, in his pre-US films of the 1930s, helped popularize the genre with a variety of films including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Secret Agent and Sabotage.
Spy movies became big in the US during World War II and into the Cold War era with the introduction of the first movie super spy, James Bond. Imitators came and went and Bond has endured but fans have to wait until November before his next big screen outing, SPECTRE. Until then, we have a new spy organization set to rival MI6 in Kingman: The Secret Service. And if you can ignore the hype of this weekend’s other big release, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by this alternative.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (based on the graphic novel The Secret Service) is an origin story of sorts. The movie opens with scant background on Harry Hart (Colin Firth), code name Galahad, and a mission which led to the death of one of his fellow agents. Presenting the agent’s wife with an offer of assistance, she rebuffs him but he makes sure her young son understands that help is only a phone call away.
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Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox