The King’s Man Synopsis
‘The King’s Man’ is an entertaining film, even though World War I doesn’t appear to fit into the Kingsman world. A compelling mix of spy thriller and traditional combat drama.
Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
The King’s Man Story
A collection of the world’s most ruthless rulers and criminal masterminds is scheming to start a Great War that would wipe out millions of people all across the world. Orlando, Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) is tasked with stopping them in time. In addition, he founded the first independent intelligence agency in the world.
The King’s Man Review
Following the success of ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (2014) and ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), producer-director Matthew Vaugh returns with a prequel about the circumstances that led to The Kingsman’s formation. While working for the Red Cross, Orlando, his wife Emily (Alexandra Maria Lara), and their little son Condra visit a concentration camp in 1902. Emily is killed by a surprise Boer sniper strike on the camp, prompting the pacifist Orlando to try to prevent future hostilities.
Orlando prohibits Conrad (Harris Dickinson) from entering the army as the Great War approaches, despite the fact that he has recruited two of his employees, Pollyanna Wilkins aka Polly (Gemma Carterton) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou) into his espionage network.
While making a prequel about what led to the establishment of The Kingsman is an intriguing concept, the screenplay with World War I have woven in isn’t. Unlike the past two films, which tackled the espionage genre in a lighthearted approach with slick action sequences and a healthy amount of comedy, this one seeks to strike a balance between being a traditional war drama and being a spy thriller.
On the plus side, Vaughn makes up for the odd blend of spy thriller and war drama with some intriguing characters, including Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans), a mystic who had enormous influence over Nicholas II, Russia’s last emperor, Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl), an Austrian who was associated with Adolf Hitler, and Mata Hari (Valerie Pachner), a Dutch exotic dancer who was also a German spy during that time Not to mention keeping the Shepherd, the story’s major villain, in the dark until the finale scene, when he confronts Orlando at his headquarters on a high cold mountain.
The action is top-notch, as expected from the franchise, whether it’s Orlando, Conrad, Shola, and Polly’s fight with Rasputin, the war scene, or the climactic duel between Orlando and The Shepherd, the mastermind behind England, Germany, and Russia’s maneuvers in the Great War.
As the Duke of Oxford, Fiennes gives a strong performance, while As the mystic monk Rasputin, Ifans is magnificent. In their roles as King George of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas of Russia, Arterton, Hounsou, Dickinson, and Tom Hollander (as King George of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas of Russia) are all excellent.
‘The King’s Man’ is an entertaining film, even though World War I doesn’t appear to fit into the Kingsman world. And, based on the brief appearances of Vladimir Lenin (August Diehl) and Adolf Hitler (David Kross) in the end credits, it appears that Vaughn is considering including World War II in the sequel to his suave and clever espionage franchise.
One guy must race against the clock to stop history’s deadliest tyrants and criminal masterminds from plotting a war that might wipe out millions of people and erase mankind off the face of the earth.
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