Kingsman: The Secret Service Film Review by Chris McRae

What would you get if you crossed the class and suave of James Bond with the stylistic, slightly demented violence level of Kick Ass? The answer is this slick action comedy directed by Matthew Vaughn. Kingsman: The Secret Service is an super spy thriller like no other. Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, the epitome of upper class British spy, who works for a secret agency known as Kingsman. When a mission goes awry, Hart is given the task of recruiting a fresh, young super spy into their ranks. Enter Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a slightly rough around the edges hooligan from the suburbs. Eggsy is thrown headlong into Kingsman’s rigorous training program and soon becomes embroiled in a twisted plot centred on eccentric madman Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) to control the entire world via technology.

The film kicks off with its roots firmly planted in the world of slick spy thrillers with the suits, gadgets and guns all trademarks of the genre. Firth is a perfect choice for the calm, collected and surprisingly nimble Harry and Egerton is a likeable addition as Eggsy. Approximately halfway through the film is where ‘shit gets real’ and the film kicks into a whole new level. The violence in the film is surprisingly shocking, but executed in a stylish, comedic manner which will have even the most squeamish cheering in their seats. A showdown in a fundamental Kansas City church is a twisted, demented but yet somehow hilarious highlight.

Samuel L Jackson pitches his performance perfectly as a strangely likeable villain and it is in the film’s final act that he truly shines. Michael Caine is also a welcome addition to this slick ensemble cast as Kingsman head honcho Arthur.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is one of the funniest, most violent and at times irreverent spy films of recent years but that is the wonderful thing about it. It never takes iteself too seriously. That is what makes it so enjoyable innit!

REVIEWED BY CHRIS McRAE

Whiplash Film Review by Chris McRae

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Jazz music has always been an enigma. Something that only a minority truly understand and for those who do, it is a passion which delves deep into the soul. In ‘Whiplash’, Director Damien Chazelle has captured the complexity, passion, soul and grit of jazz at it’s very core. This astonishing film follows young drummer Andrew Nieman (Miles Tellar) who is discovered by the terrifying and yet utterly revered bandleader Terrence Fletcher (JK Simmons) whilst studying at the prestigious Shaffer Music Conservatory. Fletcher’s unconventional and often brutal teaching techniques push Nieman above and beyond his physical, emotional¬†and mental limits. Never before has a musical themed film portrayed the passion and literal blood and sweat that get thrown into playing music.

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The film is brilliantly shot with Andrew’s brutal drumming scenes an absolute stand out. Droplets of sweat and blood drip from his sticks and cymbals as he rages through complex drum solos. JK Simmons plays the role of a lifetime as Fletcher. His presence alone is terrifying, as are the lines he delivers such as ‘are you a rusher or are you a dragger or are you going to be on MY FUCKING TIME!!’ These lines are delivered with such ferocity and brutality by Simmons and Teller begins to build resilience as the film progresses. What ensues is one of the most impressive, tense power struggles in film history. Whiplash is an absolute landmark of a film that will ring in your ears long after the final stroke!!

REVIEWED BY CHRIS McRAE

five-stars