The King’s man

The King’s man
Original title:The King’s man
Director:Matthew Vaughn
Running time:131 minutes
Release date:22 december 2021
One man must race against time to stop history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds from starting a war and wiping out millions of people.

Mulder's Review

It is interesting to see in Matthew Vaughn's filmography a real continuity as his films, with the exception of his first Layer Cake (2004), Stardust, the mystery of the star (Stardust) (2007), are adaptations of comic books with great spectacle and show a real ability to bring to life characters known to comic book readers. Whether it is the cult Kick-ass (2010), the very successful X-Men: First Class or the first two films of the Kingsman saga (Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)), each of his films have shown that Matthew Vaughn is a gifted director with a real sense of rhythm and spectacular action scenes. His new film The King's man is thus a prequel to the two previous Kingsman films and is a real tribute to the great adventure and war films of which he finds all the charm and energy.

Orlando Oxford, Duke of Oxfort (Ralph Fiennes) was a great soldier who decided to stop using the devastating violence that guided part of his life as a soldier and to find a reason to help the world with his wife Emily Oxford (Alexandra Maria Lara). Unfortunately, after her death in 1902 in South Africa during a conflict, Orlando Oxford decides to turn away from the warfield and raise his son Conrad Oxford (Harris Dickinson). Unfortunately for him, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria will lead him and his son into a fight to the death to save the world and win World War I for the Allies. 

The race against time in which Orlando Oxford will rush to prevent the worst tyrants and criminal masterminds in history from starting a war and wiping out millions of people will not only lead to the death of his son but also to the creation of the Kingsman agency to oppose a cabal that is preparing a war to wipe out millions of people. The King's man has the merit to change totally the cast of the two previous films but also the time in which the story is set but also to revisit a whole historical part in an original way and close to a graphic novel. The virtuosity of Matthew Vaughn's direction proves to be attractive enough to compensate for some of the script's weaknesses. In the same way, Rhys Ifans gives one of the best performances of his filmography by playing a demented Rasputin with an attitude close to the Joker in the Batman universe. 

Matthew Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek's script takes the essential elements of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' comics but also incorporates many references to Indiana Jones (the first scene of the film reminds us of Indiana Jones) but also to films like James Bond and Mission Impossible with its impressive action scenes and its humor rather well brought. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the long fight scene between a wild Rasputin who fights while dancing against Orlando and Conrad Oxford but also their handyman Shola (Djimon Hounsou). Just for the character of Rasputin this prequel is a strong film of the year to discover on the big screen. However, we regret that the main female character, played to perfection by Gemma Arterton, does not have enough screen time as each of her appearances almost makes the rest of the cast disappear. 

The King's man shows the solid foundations of a cinematographic saga that has not finished to be talked about and as such we advise you to stay until the middle of the end credits to discover a scene with one of the most hated real characters in history. We can only wait to find the universe of Kingsman whether it is a movie taking place during World War II or nowadays with new characters but the same visual strength and the very particular humor of this universe.

The King's man
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Produced by Matthew Vaughn, David Reid, Adam Bohling
Written by Matthew Vaughn, Karl Gajdusek
Story by Matthew Vaughn
Based on The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance
Cinematography : Ben Davis
Edited by Jason Ballantine, Rob Hall
Music by Matthew Margeson, Dominic Lewis
Production companies : Marv Studios; Cloudy Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Studios
Release date : 7 December 2021 (London), 22 December 2021 (United States), 26 December 2021 (United Kingdom), 29 December 2021 (France)
Running time : 131 minutes

Seen on December 28, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 10 seat A19

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