THE KING’S MAN (2021)
At long last, The King’s Man is ready to blast into theaters with an utterly insane adventure, wrapped in a historical drama, led by the magnificent Ralph Fiennes. The film is equal parts chaotic and fun, loaded with action and surprises that render it the best of the franchise so far.
Set against the backdrop of World War I, The King’s Man follows one man (Fiennes) as he attempts to stop some of the greatest tyrants in history as they plot to manipulate the world’s powers into a scenario that would spell disaster for England. The film ultimately leads to the creation of the Kingsman intelligence agency, one that finds roots in the need to avert worldwide tragedy and is instigated by personal loss. The King’s Man is a heavy lift, ripe with twists and turns, swinging from absolutely ridiculously entertaining to emotionally heavy; the fight seen with Rhys Ifans’ Rasputin is a mesmerizingly trippy watch that had me in stitches. There is so much that the visually compelling film tackles that you feel as though you have been watching it for four hours, which will be no surprise for fans of the first two films in the franchise. There is a lot going in this film; the historical backdrop certainly takes series in a new direction.
Fiennes is excellent in his role as the Duke of Oxford, elevating the property with support from Harris Dickinson (playing his son Conrad), Ifans, Charles Dance, and Matthew Goode. The wonderful Gemma Arterton and Djimon Hounsou also deliver solid performances, but their characters are grossly underutilized for the level of talent they bring to the table. It all leads to an exciting outing that also is anxiety inducing from beginning to end, a Matthew Vaughn staple. Does it attempt to do too much? Possibly. Does it work? Not always. Will you stay entertained? Absolutely. There is no shortage of threads for additional films to pick-up on, even before getting to the modern day entries. In anybody else’s hands, I would be nervous. With Vaughn at the helm, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
The King’s Man hits theaters on December 22nd, 2021.
Photo from 20th Century Studios