The King’s Man
The King’s Man is a prequel to the two previous Kingsman movies and this one takes place during the first world war. A mysterious Scottish man is leading a group of people who are close to the rulers of Germany, Russia and the US, trying to start the first world war and trying to affect the outcome of the conflict. The protagonist of the story is the Duke of Oxford, who together with his own group of people and liaisons are trying to prevent this disastrous conflict.
There are some twists in the story that I wasn’t expecting, but those has more to do with character development, the main story is somewhat predictable though. This might be both from the fact that it’s heavily inspired by real events during the first world war, although it takes it’s own spin on them, or that it’s just quite predictable in general. There are some good actions-scenes, but they are not as well done as those in the first two movies (hard to beat that church-scene from the first). We hardly get to see the main villain until the very end, and the most charismatic character, Rasputin, doesn’t get quite enough screen-time, even though he’s featured pretty heavily in the first half.
It’s nothing wrong with the acting, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Harris Dickinson and Djimon Hounsou (and especially previously mentioned Rhys Ifans) all do a good job with their characters, it’s just that I find it hard to get totally invested in the story as it is being told. There are some heavy and dramatic parts, especially the depiction of the war in the trenches, that stands in stark contrast to other parts of the story. I’m not saying that can’t work, Marvel has done a pretty good job of that in the past, but here it just lands somewhere in between on both fronts (no pun intended).
I enjoyed the two previous movies, especially their mix of well choreographed action and witty writing. Having seen the trailer for this one, which focused heavily on Rhys Ifans portrayal of Rasputin, I though we were going to get more of that successful blend. However, this movie takes things a bit more seriously than the previous ones, even if it tries to weave in more comedic aspects. But it kind of ends up not knowing which leg to stand on in this case.
I don’t know who I would recommend this to. Perhaps if you’re a big fan of spy-movies, but not if you’re a big fan of the previous two installments, in that case this might leave you a little bit disappointed. A bit of a let down for me sadly.