Wednesday 9 March 2022

REVIEW: The King's Man - Starring Ralph Fiennes

Review by Jon Donnis
Although it has been out about a month now, I finally got round to seeing The King's Man, a prequel of sorts to the Kingsman film series.

The film has some big-name actors in it, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance, and is set during World War I and covers the emergence of the Kingsman organization.

A collection of some of the worst "bad guys" from history have come together to plot a war to wipe out millions, and Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) is in a race against time to stop them.

Now I was a big fan of the Kingsmen films, I thought they were well made, had some great funny moments in them, captivating characters and a good plot. However, this prequel is awful.
It is advertised as a "spy action-comedy film" yet they seemingly forgot to add in any comedy.

The majority of the film tries to be a war film (Think 1917 by Sam Mendes), and then the last 30 minutes it wakes up into something a bit closer to what you were expecting. If you were hoping this would be a modern spy film, you will also be disappointed, instead of gadgets and clever set pieces, you have way too much old-fashioned espionage, which is ok if you thought you were going to a serious war film.

By the time did kick into gear, I had already lost interest, and just wanted it to end. The film's makers, clearly did not have a solid vision here, and instead of giving us more of what The Kingsmen gave us, they tried something different, and for me it failed.

With the exception of one scene with Rasputin licking Ralph Fiennes leg, the film bored me. There were some nice action scenes, but I just didn't have any emotional investment into the characters to care.

The film is poor, and is the worst in the franchise so far.

The Good
The last half hour is decent, a great scene on the side of a cliff, Ralph Fiennes is a great actor, just a shame he was given a pile of crap to act from.

The Bad
The first 90 minutes, I just found myself constantly looking at the time, and wishing something that was advertised would happen.

For a franchise I am a big fan of, this really let me down, and for any fan of the franchise this is one film that needs to quickly be memory holed.

I score The King's Man a poor 3/10

Out on Digital now at