Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max's life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke.
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Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a member of the Kingsman, an urbane and virtuous spy outfit operating out of a Savile Row tailors. Matthew Vaughn seems to be cinematic Marmite, dividing the film-going public into two camps. Particular praise must be given to the adrenaline-fuelled action beats that litter the film. Sheer pleasure is the definite modus operandi here, injecting barrels of fun into a concept that could so easily have just been a run of the mill Hollywood bunkum.
Much of this entertainment value is down to a roster of excellent performances, with the entire cast embracing the lunacy with wild abandon. Kingsman is a rollicking thrill ride – light-hearted, fast paced and incredibly funny. To book tickets to see Kingsman: The Secret Service at York City Screen Picturehouse, go here.


They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of abandoned pets determined to take revenge on all happy-owned pets and their owners. Some find his brand of sharp, stylised, often ultra-violent work to be fun, witty and just the right side of irreverent, while the others accuse him of being over-indulgent, succumbing to laddish fantasy and lacking heart or finesse. I say luckily for me because Kingsman is the most Matthew Vaughn film Matthew Vaughn has ever made. Favouring long takes and a kinetic camera rather than the nauseating and choppy edits that seem to be the norm in Hollywood these days, Kingsman features some of the most inventive action I’ve seen in a long time. Indeed, Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman (who also worked on Kick Ass and Stardust) clearly love the spy genre and litter the movie with tons of neat references. Firth is the big winner here, clearly having the time of his life – relishing the opportunity to occupy a Bond-like role he sadly missed out on in younger days. The first half could be accused of being formulaic, grinding gears and positioning characters before the main plot kicks in, but even at its lowest ebb it never once dips into boring territory. Although much of the adult humour and violence won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, for fans of this kind of thing you’d be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining and uncompromisingly idiosyncratic film this year. While Eggsy is put through his espionage paces, lisping nutcase Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) sets into motion plans to take over the world with mobile phone SIM cards and it’s up to the Kingsmen to stop him.


It’s an audacious and wildly entertaining rollercoaster ride, distinctly and unashamedly British and featuring some of the loopiest visuals ever committed to such a high profile blockbuster. From the subtle (the Kingsmen all sporting dapper Harry Palmer specs), to the not so subtle (Firth and Jackson engaging in a meta conversation about their favourite Bond films), it’s a treasure trove of spy tropes. Elsewhere, the otherwise sharp script comes undone with some muddled class system satire that could have benefited from a bit of a polish. And of course, as ever with all Vaughn’s films, there are the usual excesses and a definite lack of subtlety.
Elsewhere, top support comes from the always wonderful Mark Strong as the Kingsman’s equivalent of Q, and Sophie Cookson as Roxy, Eggsy’s primary rival for the spy role and a refreshingly well-rounded female character in an otherwise male dominated genre. But these are minor gripes and aren’t sufficient to sully what is an otherwise sharp and funny film.



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