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The Kingsmen: A review

The trailer for this film made it look like it was going to be very funny so I went with my usual group of friends to see it.

kingsmanThe film started off in the manner I expected, at least until someone was chopped in half. Then it went back to the silly gentleman spy movie I was expecting for the most part (there was quite a bit of swearing but not masses). I laughed a fair bit and was generally entertained. The film really didn’t take itself seriously and there was even some funny product placement.

This is sort of when the film took a turn I hadn’t quite expected. Colin Firth walked into a church, the bad guy trialled his destruction machine. Then there was a scene filled with violence and mayhem that might have been watchable had it cut away sooner or been a little less obvious with the sick violence of it as well as about a tenth of the length. By the time I was a third of the way through the scene I wasn’t really watching anymore and was hoping it would stop, by the time I was two-thirds through the scene I was sitting in disbelief and starting to motion to my friends that I wasn’t comfortable. As it was we were starting to discuss leaving when it finally stopped.

Kingsman-The-Secret-ServiceWe honestly hoped this was a one off and would go back to the gentleman spy spoof the trailer made us expect, but it wasn’t entirely and there were a few more distasteful scenes later as well, although they tried to make the gross violence funny. I actually wish I had left and never finished it, or even better, never bothered to see it, and I think there’s only about five films I’ve ever watched I wish I’d never seen.

It felt a lot like the film was going for the cheap shock of violence and gross fights to surprise the audience because the makers couldn’t be bothered to do so with the story and characters instead. And given who was involved in making it (something I didn’t realise until after) I’m not that surprised. They’re other films have the same feel.

In short I don’t recommend anyone seeing this, it was quite simply, disgusting.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: A Review

So I went to see this film at the cinema, as I usually do with Marvel films these days and I had to watch a 3d showing as my cinema didn’t have a good time for the 2d ones.

I want to start by saying that no other universe has been handled quite so well as Marvel handle the Avengers universe. There’s something about seeing these films (and the Agents of Shield tv series) in the order they were made that just builds and builds. Each film feels a little better than the one before. The characters more fleshed out and the universe more rich and complex. Some of that may be that each film requires more of everyone involved, but some of that is the subtleties, the little details that all add up.

The first Captain America film felt very different to the other avengers films. It had a little less humour and dealt with the much darker theme of the second world war. This meant quite a lot of people didn’t like it as much. I assume most of them were expecting the still deep but with a glossy finish style of Iron Man and Thor.

Captain America is a deep character. He deals with some of the fundamental issues of freedom, fear, and what it is to be an honourable soldier and you can see him wrestling with these issues in both films. As such the veneer is a little less shiny, although this sequel is a little more in tune with the sort of feel of the films over all. There was a bit more humour, but still not as much as Thor 2 or the Avengers, and definitely not as much as Iron Man 3.

On top of that the bad guy was a troubled soul. While there have been bad guys in many of the Marvel films that are evidently meant to be hated this wasn’t so clear cut in this story. I don’t want to plot spoil but I found myself not wanting to hate the Winter Soldier, but to hope that somehow he could be saved instead. The character is definitely an interesting one and I hope they revisit him.

Another common occurance in the Marvel films is the concept of how much control should our governments have and the moral obligation of standing up for the right thing even if it risks your own life, and yet again that was a strong theme throughout this film. and once more Marvel handled it well. Captain America, a character seen as deeply patriotic, is the perfect person to ask the right questions.

Finally the side characters were amazing. Scarlett Johanssen as the Black Widow was once again superb, building on her parts in the Iron Man series and the Avengers film. And then there was this new character here (<—) who has one of the coolest pieces of tech I think I’ve ever seen. He can fly! And some of his stunts and fight scenes were epic. He was also a great supporting character for Captain America, providing most of the funny one liners, typical of the Marvel style. Nick Fury’s story arch was also awesome.

In short, I really enjoyed the film. I think Thor 2 is still my favourite of all the Marvel Avenger films so far as Loki was hilarious but this is definitely one of the better ones and well worth seeing, just don’t bother with the 3d unless you have no option and make sure you stay until the very end of the credits as there are two sneaky extras and only one is part way through the credits, with the other being left until the last moment.