Rob Reviews "The King's Man"
By the time I started writing this review, it's been right at a week and I am still processing "The King's Man". When I left the theater, I was pretty jazzed for it (and still am), but there is a lot more to take away here that just another "Kingsman" film.
As you may or may not have seen by now (this film is almost two years past its original release date, so trailers have been out there for a bit), this film (also directed by Matthew Vaughn, who REALLY seems to not like American Presidents) is a prequel that explains the events that lead up to the creation of the spy organization that operates outside of the British government to help keep threats of terror at bay. Taking place as World War I erupts, Orlando Oxford (Ralph Finnes) is trying to enjoy his life as the Duke of Oxford after a trip to South Africa with supplies from the Red Cross. As a result of this incident, he is very protective of his son, Conrad (Harris Dickinson), who wants to join the fight by asking his father to pull some strings as he is under age. Orlando is vehemently against it, but as The War To End All Wars begins, Oxford himself must work in the shadows to serve his country to stop his beloved Britain from falling to the Russians.
With an all star cast that boasts Gemma Arterton, Dijmon Hounsou, Charles Dance, (an unrecognizable) Rhys Ifans, and Daniel Bruhl, there is A LOT going on here. It's been a long time since I could say this, but it doesn't matter how many trailers there have been for this film, NOTHING could prepare you for the breadth and scope that "The King's Man" does within it's just over two hour run time. At first, I truly believed that I felt each and every minute of the film, but the more I thought about it I realized that the reason I felt that way was because of the density of the script itself. This easily could have been a two-parter to flesh the story completely out, and that would not have bothered me; however, I am also cool with it being done this way as well. There are so many twists and turns to the story as it unfolds that I found myself formulating and re-formulating theories as to where everything was going almost the entire time.
Even though there might not be as much action as might be expected going in, the story and visuals that Vaughn is known for in everything from "Layer Cake" to here more than picks up the slack. WIth all of this being said, I am not sure I would rank it up against either of the other two films but would be more than happy to do a triple-feature showing this first to establish the timeline. As much as I loved "The King's Man," I am not sure I would truly say it was "worth the wait". It's a great film and a lot of fun, but I would have been just as satisfied to see this at home on a streaming service as I would have been seeing it in a theater; just make sure you crank up that volume for the more fast-paced parts.