REVIEW / FILM OPINION – After the first two opus worn by Taron Egerton, Matthew Vaughn is back behind the camera to direct “The King’s Man: First Mission”, which thus takes the form of a prequel.
Kingsman : a successful franchise
In 2015, British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn embarks on directing Kingsman: Secret Service. Carried by the young Taron Egerton, the film is adapted from the comics by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons released in 2012. Faced with the critical and popular success of the feature film, Matthew Vaughn decides to direct a sequel in 2017. Here again, Kingsman: The Golden Circle meets with some success. Both films bring in more than $ 825 million in box office revenue. 20th Century Studio logically wanted to launch the production of a new opus.
So Matthew Vaughn is back behind the camera to direct The King’s Man: First Mission. An adventure that takes place before the first two films which offer an explosive cast including Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Aterton, Rhys Ifans, Daniel Brühl or even Djimon Hounsou. A whole new team gathered to tell the story of the origins of the Kingsman organization.
The king’s man : a laborious first part
Matthew Vaughn is not a regular at sequels. It is besides, the only saga of his career as a director. He who had refused to realize the consequences of X-Men: The Beginning and of Kick-Ass, yet give it to their heart’s content with the universe of Kingsman. But in this third episode the filmmaker is sometimes short of ideas and suffers from a lack of creativity, of renewal. It is undoubtedly in particular because of this that the scenario writer chooses to change epoch and to go back in time. A way for him to hide his lack of renewal.
I have to say that the start of The King’s Man: First Mission is laborious. The film is sorely lacking in rhythm, efficiency, verve and impact. The opening sequence is incredibly heavy, both in terms of writing and staging. An extremely slow set-up follows, which suffers from a warmed up and expected narration that takes up certain elements of the very first film.
The story thus sets up a young man who wants to take responsibility and become a full-fledged Kingsman. And although his fate is very different from that of Taron Egerton’s character, Matthew Vaughn uses the same elements of language.
Likewise, the filmmaker does not go far enough in his quirky and self-mocking delirium as he did with the second episode of the franchise. Matthew Vaughn stays a bit on the surface and does not give enough depth to its eccentric comic and narrative springs. The director does not always get to the bottom of things and could have taken The King’s Man: First Mission in even more intense comic delirium. Time is also a problem. Strangely, this change in temporality serves the effectiveness of the formula Kingsman. This period of WWII is less befitting of Kingsman madness than the contemporary era. And the idea of playing with History, with its historical tribulations, is not stupid. Far from there. But it is never fully developed.
Dantesque action scenes
Fortunately, after this half-hearted introduction, the feature film manages to find its cruising speed and a fairer tone. Matthew Vaughn has a welcome boost during his narrative. And the footage really takes off during the meeting between Ralph Fiennes and Rhys Ifans. The latter is barely impressive in the skin of Rasputin. He offers an incredibly solid and inspired interpretation. Baroque antagonist, unprecedented, whimsical and singular, it offers the real first confrontation of the film, and is one of the film’s strong points. A way for Matthew Vaughn to let his talent as a director speak.
As in the two previous parts of the saga, action sequences of The King’s Man: First Mission are incredibly effective. The filmmaker has an overflowing inventiveness to stage fights and Dantesque confrontations. Whether it is this opposition with Rasputin or the great final fight, each of its action scenes are thought out and choreographed to the millimeter. The director offers always new ways to film the action, via never-before-seen shots, mind-blowing framing, and delicious camera movements.
It is an unfailing pleasure for the eyes and the senses. A talent for processing action that also takes shape in …