The King’s Man – Movie Review

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Before we get into this weeks movie review I think it’s super important to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it (if not I hope you had a wonderful break) and also want to wish everyone a happy new year! Let’s hope that 2022 is much better than the previous two years! During my review for the online murder mystery “Sherlock in Holmes 3: Murder at the Games” which is created by Sharp Teeth Theatre and available at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/12/03/sherlock-in-holmes-iii-production-review/, I mentioned how we in Wales are on the back end of covid and unfortunately, I could not have been more wrong! Sadly we have been placed back into alert level two which has meant that many covid restrictions have had to be put back into place. One of these rules is that nightclubs are no longer able to open unless they can offer table service to all of their customers which I know many will not be able to. Our hearts go out to everyone in this industry who will now no longer have a job due to the closures! During the first lockdown theatres and cinemas had to close however this time they are staying open but they have to ensure the audience is socially distanced from one another. When booking cinema tickets for example there is three spaces between every booking so that you can ensure you are not sat by a strange (which I quite like the idea of anyways.) As has become accustomed for every one of my movie reviews, I have to mention that I am a member of the Cineworld unlimited programme which allows me access to unlimited movies for just £10 a month. If you want to become a member yourself make sure you use my referral code RAF-41UF-82LQ-14EX-70BM which would gift both yourself and myself a free month on the scheme.

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The kings man is the third instalment of the Kingsman franchise of movies. The first one was a very serious and action film that starred the incredibly talented Taron Egerton who plays the lead character Eggsy who goes from a bit of a ruffian to a refined secret agent. As a side note, Taron is one of my dream personalities that I would like to interview on my youtube channel (which if you haven’t already subscribed to you can do so at https://youtube.com/channel/UCHSoxy7Iw6ru0P6mUFOr2iw) The second film in this serious is a much more comedy based film that is almost a spoof of many of these types of action films. This one stars Elton John alongside Taron who brings all the wonderfully camp energy you would expect from the iconic singer. This movie is also single-handedly responsible for me not being able to listen to the famous John Denver song “Country Roads” due to a very powerful scene in this second film. Despite the negative connections I have to this song during my trip to Hungary, some of the staff would play this song on the ukulele very frequently which was difficult for me to experience daily. For more information about this trip, you can read my blog about the English camp at https://rhysreviews.com/2019/07/27/hungary-blog-part-one/.

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The third movie simply titled “The King’s man” is actually set before the first movie in this series which makes it a sort of prequel that explains why the agency was formed. It explains many key elements such as where the nicknames for each of the agents originated from and why the team was needed which makes it an effective prequel. The story follows a series of new characters who establish the agency that is above politics and instead aims to maintain peace. The majority of this movie takes place in 1918 with the backdrop of the upcoming world war. This means that many key historic figures make an appearance through the film including Rasputin (but more on that later), Franz Ferdinand and Adolf Hitler. As a more historic film, the settings of the film flips between war-torn places and the aristocratic homes both in the UK and abroad. As an addition to the series, the newest film is structured in the same way as the previous two films. The creators of this franchise has a very clever way of recycling key phrases within the movies and manipulating them to fit other scenes that help to make the movies more coherent and easier to watch. Due to the more serious and real-world setting, this third film is much more linked to the first film ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ whereas the second is a much more comedic and euphoria movie. Like with all the movies in this franchise there are numerous fantastical and miraculous moments within the film that had myself thinking how are they going to escape from this but somehow they always did. However, I did think at key points some moments were to far fetched such as a goat suddenly turning of its owner to allow our hero to overcome evil!

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We are introduced to Orlando Oxford (played by Ralph Fiennes) who makes it his own personal mission to help the Uk win the war. Ralph manages to perfectly balance the more violent and action aspects of this character with the caring, overprotective and fatherly aspects of the character. These polar opposites are very hard to capture on one role which showcases Ralph’s abilities to portray complex and layered characters flawlessly. Alongside Orlando, we have his son Conrad who is played by the wonderful Harris Dickinson. Conrad is a plucky young man who also makes it his ambition to help defeat the invading forces. Unlike his father, however, Conrad (after numerous heated arguments with his father) enlist to fight on the front line. There are moments in the movie where Conrad appears very entitled but his passion for helping his country helps to create sympathy for the character from the audience. This movie has a very interesting portrayal of war as it begins with Conrad thinking it is the highest honour to die for your country while also highlighting the immense amount of loss that the spillers experience. Also in the Oxford household was the housemaid Polly who was played by Gemma Arterton. Polly is not only the maid but one of the key forces in the underground team that is formed. The combination of the maid role, perceived pronunciation and incredible skills makes this character appear as an almost Mary Poppins on steroids which were great to watch!

The show-stealing performance in this movie was without a doubt Rhys Ifans who played the wonderfully eccentric Grigori Rasputin. His portrayal of this character was ridiculously over-the-top and outlandish which was a spectacle to watch. There was one scene in particular that had Rasputin fighting against the Oxford household but instead of a traditional sword-fighting scene, it was a meticulously choreographed sequence. Usually, I hate when a fighting scene looks obviously choreographed but the movements in this sequence not only made sense for the eccentric character but also fitted the musical passions of the leader.

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Overall, ‘the king’s man’ is an effective prequel that explains many of the key ideas of the preceding films. This movie is a much more history-based movie that fits into the serious and action movie characteristics of the king’s men series but links more closely with the first than the comedic second instalment. I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to fans of the king’s man franchise but also fans of war movies/films!

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