Tits superfluous Kingsman The origin story sees writer-director Matthew Vaughn sketching out a plan for the fit-and-started secret spy organization. The third film in the franchise, it begins with Orlando Oxford by Ralph Fiennes, a widowed aristocrat and war veteran who regrets his role in plundering the British colonies. A self-proclaimed pacifist, he discourages his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) from enlisting in the military – but World War I has broken out and a global catastrophe must be stopped. Orlando is flanked by ass-kicking comrades played by Djimon Hounsou and Gemma Arterton (the only woman in the film to offer anything resembling a talking role).
The tone awkwardly oscillates from radical colonial melodrama to grim battle epic, camp, pseudo-Bond and crass, little funny farce. All exist on a specter of boring laddishness, from the childish Rasputin of Rhys Ifans – a dancing and vomiting mystical monk – to a dark and reverent setting in the trenches. It’s a bit of historical revisionism fun when the war is revealed to have been orchestrated by a dark villain with a Scottish accent, determined to overthrow the British Empire while punishing Fiennes’ “chic asshole”. Still, the film can’t help but revel in a conservative conclusion outside Buckingham Palace, with a victory banner fluttering against a handful of St George’s flags.