The King’s Man: Grounded and grittier while preserving the original essence

Published: July 18, 2019
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Hollywood has got a knack for milking every franchise as much as possible and the same is happening with its Kingsman franchise. The latest entry is not a sequel but a prequel, titled The King’s Man, with its trailer released just recently.

I had come across Kingsman: The Secret Service accidentally a couple of months after its release and had ended up watching the movie with my eyes glued to the screen the entire time. The stylised action sequences, the over-the-top plot along with the brilliant performances of Colin Firth and Taron Edgerton, were definitely the highlights of the movie.

The movie was a box office success and spawned a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The sequel was an equal success at the box office but I was only able to sit through half of the movie as the plot seemed stretched and did not promise anything new. Till this date, I have not really bothered to complete the movie, though it is still on my ‘movies to watch’ list, but I don’t think I will be doing that anytime soon.

The trailer to the prequel starts off with a wide shot of a battlefield indicating that the movie takes place during the World War, contrary to previous entries which were more modern and technology driven. The trailer features Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as an older man who trains a young man, portrayed by Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats). The dynamic between these two is quite similar to the one between Firth’s Harry Hart and Edgerton’s Eggsy.

From the looks of the trailer, the movie seems to focus more on realistic warfare rather than using exaggerated gadgets like umbrellas that shoot bullets. It definitely looks like Matthew Vaughn has opted for a more grounded approach this time to substitute the excesses of the previous film. While the Kingsman franchise is known for cheekily poking fun at cheesy spy films of yore (think Sean Connery and Roger Moore as James Bond), this trailer appears to promise a film which roots the spectacle in the traumas and repercussions of war.

Throughout the trailer we get to see bits of action sequences and explosions. In one particular scene, Dickinson’s character can been seen having an intense training session with Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond). It will be interesting to see how this prequel develops the origin of the Kingsman organisation and ties into subsequent films.

The trailer promises to fulfil an action movie nut’s appetite with gunfights, traditional warfare, sword fights, explosions and stylised slow-motion shots that are synonymous with the franchise. The King’s Man also promises to be high on spy elements, and we even get a glimpse of the two leads standing in front of the famous men’s suit store seen in previous films.

Fiennes isn’t new to spy movies as he has portrayed ‘M’ in James Bond movies and will reprise his role in Bond 25. He sure is guaranteed to give Dickenson’s character some important lessons when it comes to the world of spying. Fiennes character could be heard saying,

“Real power is not found running off to war. Real power lies in understanding who it is you’re truly fighting and how they can be defeated.”

This prequel promises to be grounded and grittier than the previous entries and a World War setting makes it even more interesting as we will get to see old school battles on an actual battlefield with traditional weapons. I believe I got bored of The Golden Circle because it was more or less the same as the first offering, but the prequel ensures that it preserves the best elements of the original while adding some new ones as well.

The trailer has surely raised my hopes and has reignited my excitement for the Kingsman franchise and I am really hoping I will watch this one in a single sitting and not get bored.

The King’s Man arrives in theatres on February 14, 2020.

(All photos: IMDb)

Sahir Palijo

Sahir Palijo

The author is an undergrad pursuing a degree of Business Administration. He loves to write his thoughts and is a movie freak. He tweets at @The_Sahir (twitter.com/the_sahir)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.