Don Reviews "The King's Man"
Origin stories where one has not existed have become quite the thing in Hollywood, especially in cases where the number of sequels get to a crazy level. (Yes, I am talking to you MCU and DC: you have had about what, 6 of them??) Termed the “prequel,” some have been good, and some have should not have been made like in the case of “Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace”. Another one that has been pushed back a number times has arrived, so here we go!
Matthew Vaughn returns to his hit franchise with “The King’s Man,” and with him comes a cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Dijmon Hounsou, Tom Hollander, and Harris Dickinson. Serving as a prequel to “The Kingsman: The Secret Service,” this film takes place in the early 1900s in Europe as The War to End All Wars breaks out. An evil mastermind wants to take out certain world leaders to force Germany to eliminate Britain with Russia as an ally. As this plan is hatched, the Duke of Oxford (Fiennes) works under the radar along with other government agents trying to stop the evil plan along with some unexpected allies.
This is a hard film to review because as much as loved the other two films in this series and seeing Vaughn’s style apply here along with great visual style and cast, it just didn’t land for me in the way the others did. I really wanted to enjoy “The King’s Man,” but this film in no way really felt like a “Kingsman” film except for the title. It simply felt like more of a historical re-enactment of Europe pre-WWI that happen to have some things in it that were related.
For me, the other films are a new age James Bond with great action and high-tech gadgets, but this film did not really add the fun and comedy to a spy action film and felt like more of a prequel to “The English Patient” than “The Kingsman”. I did enjoy the film for what it is, but be warned against setting the bar too high when comparing it to the others. I cannot say I completely disliked “The King’s Man,” but I would only recommend seeing it at a second run theater at best.