Though it lacks the stylish wit of the 2014 hit, The King’s Man has enough action and historical “cameos” to satisfy a king.
The King’s Man Synopsis
Rasputin, Lenin, and Mata Hari. “Worry” Wilson, King George V of Britain, and the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. These are the big names of WWI, known to all and any history buff. But what is their relationship to a certain tailor in Savile Row? And how did their legacies bring about the formation of the legendary Kingsman Agency?
Before all else, Happy New Year, everyone! May we all be healthy and spiffy in 2022.
May the awful pandemic finally be in its last lap too!
‘Right, back to the review. I watched The King’s Man last night, i.e. New Year’s Eve, and it was an energetic ride for an otherwise subdued day of celebrations. For all the complaints rained onto it by professional reviewers, I thought this prequel was charmingly entertaining. This joy in large part thanks to the way so many historical WWI characters were tossed together without a care.
Stealing the limelight at every stage were also the villains. Like the evil-doers in Batman movies, these rogues were the absolute life of the show; particularly, Rhys Ifans’ insane Rasputin. While watching the climax of that crazy winter ball segment, I found myself enthusiastically humming that famous Boney M song. Oh, if only the movie played that during the fight! How well it would mesh with all those whirling Cossack dance moves!
Elsewhere, there was a gripping WWI trench segment. Thickly stylised and clearly aiming for the visual milestones denoted by movies like 1917. Ralph Fiennes, as expected, balanced the madness of the villains with his aristocratic charm. On this, all I can say is, there’s no surprise, yes? Given the man’s reputation?
Moving on to the thumbs-down of the movie, frankly, my only complaint is that The King’s Manlacked the deconstructing, subversive wit of the first movie. Some reviews have highlighted that the emphasis on action reduced the whole show to your standard popcorn action fare. This is a criticism I don’t disagree with, regrettably.
And yet, with all the fine acting and historical colours, does lesser wit matter? Anyhow, isn’t this a year-end popcorn thriller?
Watch this in the right spirits, and it will surely thrill you, I say.
It’s zesty! And who knows, it might encourage you to binge-read WWI history.
PS: To my international readers, there’s a Kitchener Road in Singapore. The inclusion of the debated marshal in the first half of the show thus created weird fourth wall moments for me.
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