Kingsman The Beginning: The Action Movie Prequel Reviewed
With "Kingsman The Beginning" Matthew Vaughn brings the long-awaited prequel to the very successful "Kingsman" films to the big screen. We watched the film.
The Kingsman films The Secret Service and The Golden Circle were some of the biggest action surprises of the last decade. They combined the British gentleman style with action-packed fights and funny villains, which quickly filled the box office. The first part brought in four times its production costs, the second part almost reached this value. It was logical that another film was only a matter of time, but only a few had counted on a prequel.
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Kingsman The Beginning Synopsis
The film takes place about 100 years before the first two parts, at the time of the First World War. Because of this time jump, completely new characters had to be created, which is always a risk in a successful series. The main character is the British Duke Orlando Oxford, who loses his wife while working for the Red Cross. On this day he swears to protect his son, who saw the death of his mother as a child, from danger forever. This also includes preventing future wars, without which he would not have had to take part in the mission. So he founds a spy network with his maid Polly and his butler Shola to prevent future conflicts between great powers. But in the background someone wants to set the great powers against each other to create a big war and when Conrad (Oxford's son) wants to serve in the British military, the drama takes its course.
A mix of dark drama and historical action
Anyone hoping for over-the-top action with lots of humor will be disappointed. The film is very different from the other two films. The film is darker, has fewer action scenes than its predecessors and the humor isn't as exaggerated either. In addition, the background story is not fictitious like in the Kingsman films, but is based on historical events. The cast is very high quality. As the main role, Ralph Fiennes (also in: Harry Potter, Schindler's List, James Bond) plays the role of the Duke of Oxford very authentically and not too "over the top". Harris Dickinson, who has been relatively unknown up to now, also knows how to convince in his role as Conrad.
But many of the roles, which are heavily cast, get too little time to develop. An example would be Daniel Brühl, who became known as "Fredrick Zoller", who plays the imposter Erik Hanussen in the film. This is one of the string pullers who is supposed to start the First World War. But you don't really get to know much about the person, because after a few minutes the next story line has to be continued. Because that's exactly where the big problem of the film lies.
Too much to tell, already too long
Vaughn has taken on a lot with The Beginning. On the one hand, he wants to tell a family drama with a father-son story, which should then also explain the founding of the Kingsman. Incidentally, the third story line is still running, which would like to explain the historical events. At 130 minutes, the film is very long, but still doesn't manage to tell everything completely. A few questions and logic holes stayed with me after leaving the cinema hall, which in a hinted sequel in the probably "2. World War Setting” could be solved. A little less scope and more focus on important storylines would have done the film good.
Despite a critical eye: 130 minutes of pure entertainment
But that doesn't mean I didn't feel entertained. From a technical point of view, the film is completely convincing. Large pictures, outstanding cuts and exciting action scenes ensure constant entertainment, and the fans are also served with a few allusions to the other two films. You don't necessarily have to have seen the films, it's just an advantage. One of the string pullers is dealt with in more detail and probably makes for one of the highlight scenes in the film. Rasputin, played by Rhys Ifans (also: Spider Man, Notting Hill), provides the strangest scenes and brings a bit of the classic Kingsman style to the otherwise serious film.
Kingsman "The Beginning" leaves me a little torn. The film seems too overloaded, which is especially noticeable in the ridiculous antagonist and the too many storylines. Nevertheless, he offers a very strong cast, which convinces with technically excellent pictures. I would like to highlight Gemma Arterton as Polly and Harris Dickinson as Conrad. As a fan of the first two films, I was able to experience many allusions and backgrounds to the first two films, but these are disturbed by logic holes in connecting the storylines.