The Pissed Take - The King's Man
Release Date 22Dec2021
THE KING'S MAN -OR- ALL QUIET IN THE MOVIE THEATER *AKA* How to let down an uneven, but not horrible movie with shite marketing.
I didn't hate this one. I also didn't love it, and it nearly didn't rate OK.
THE KING'S MAN, from director Matthew Vaughn (also one of the screenwriters and producers), is the third film in the KINGSMAN series (chronologically a prequel) adapted from the spy comic series THE SECRET SERVICE by MARK MILLAR and DAVE GIBBONS.
The film series follows the Kingsman secret service's operations from a Saville row tailor shop (in the comic, it's just plain old MI6), with a lighter, campier tone, and colorful antagonists akin to earlier Bond movies.
This movie, set around and in the events of the first world war, is a bit more subdued and a tad dour. Little of which is suggested by the misleading marketing, obviously created by a team of spastic, over-caffeinated, crackheaded lemurs.
No spoilers, but I'll give you the goods around it.
This movie is slower paced than the previous films, and because of the added seriousness of the pre/principle/post WW1 events, tonally uneven with the added occasional high energy action bits.
I am certain this movie would have rated higher had it been cut tighter. All the elements are there, but the movie too often slows nearly to a halt during more reflective, personal moments. Fair to say that this one feels almost like two movies were Rube Goldberg'd together, and the producers were like, "F#ck it".
There are very good things about this movie.
The performances by the cast are good, (Rhys Ifans is the standout as Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin... a bit wasted) a special nod to Tom Hollander in three roles. The action is inventive, well choreographed, and kinetic... abrupt in a few places. Finally, the technical presentation is pretty good. The mixed tone - part somber war film, part campy spy movie, part family drama - doesn't come together as a whole.
There are a few not-so-good bits.
The movie drags in a few key spots, especially the beginning. It wastes Rhys Ifans's Rasputin, who has featured heavily in the marketing and is some of the best the movie offers (really good stuff). The prime villain is kind of a letdown ultimately. Finally, the aforementioned uneven tone... It could have used a trim on the page, and in the editing bay
Worth a watch if you have some spare time, and a re-watch if you've seen it already.
SEE IT: If you were curious already or have some time to watch a flawed but entertaining movie.
DON'T SEE IT: If you were seeing ONE movie this holiday, and that movie was #SpiderManNoWayHome... and NOT "That META movie".