7/10 After several delays thanks to the China Virus, “The King’s Man”, the prequel film to the “Kingsman” films finally has arrived and unfortunately, has bombed at the box office, despite being a good film. I re-watched the other two films in this series beforehand and they hold up well while being a ton of fun with over the top violence, terrific performances and bringing the silly enjoyment back that the early, less serious James Bond films had. As for “The King’s Man”, several of the strengths from the other films remain but this is definitely less fun and more serious than the previous two, modern day set films. This prequel takes place during WWI and deals with The Great War, death, personal tragedy and other depressing issues. While this is still a film I recommend and encourage people who enjoyed the other films to see, you should know that the cheeky jokes are replaced by some of history’s darker moments. In addition to the change in tone, there are a couple of over the top moments that even I had to roll my eyes at, since this film is more grounded in reality than the other two (despite still not being what I would consider to be “realistic”). Taron Egerton is replaced as the leading man by the always reliable Ralph Fiennes, who does a fantastic job carrying the film. The rest of the supporting cast is terrific too with folks like Gemma Arterton, Harris Dickinson, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode and an unrecognizable Rhys Ifans. I was curious how director Matthew Vaughn would handle the action without the use of all the modern gadgets that the other two films utilized so well but despite their absence, the action was still well done and entertaining to witness. Despite coming in at just over two hours, the pacing works well and takes its time establishing the plot and characters. Characters get proper character arcs and Vaughn along with co-writer Karl Gajdusek inject enough heart into the film to make you care about the characters and the obstacles they encounter. Telling the story about the origins of the Kingsman organization while also mixing in some fictional history makes for a compelling story and although there was a solid teaser after the credits, I highly doubt this film will get a sequel (even the final chapter of the Taron Egerton trilogy is in jeopardy due to this film losing money for the studio), which is really a shame since the next chapter would be a pleasure to see. If you enjoyed the previous “Kingsman” films, enjoy action films with a talented cast or are a fan of history, I implore you to check this out while you can. Despite lacking some of the fun and being a bit over the top in places, this high energy adventure will put a smile on your face as long as you don’t take it too seriously, despite some of the serious subject matter.

#MortonFearsACoup / #DisputinRasputin / #GoodGollyMissPolly / #MatthewBade / #FiennesByMe / #FiennesIsADoubleO

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