Review in Brief: The King’s Man (2021)

THE KING’S MAN just doesn’t work on so many levels. It has a big tone problem to begin with, and far too many scenes of people standing around explaining what World War I was. Sworn pacifist the Duke of Oxford Orlando (Ralph Fiennes) and his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) undertake a clandestine mission in Russia at the outbreak of WWI, going up against Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) and a secret society aiming to destabilise superpowers and take over the world. It’s left far too long before we get to experience one of the Kingsman franchise’s trademark dynamic action sequences (RIP choreographer Brad Allen) and the one scene that’s the right balance of ridiculous fun and spectacle is a dance-fight against Rasputin set to a remix of the 1812 Overture. Everything else is narratively clunky, incredibly misjudged and rather than emphasising the waste of human lives in the most destructive of wars in our history ends up insultingly turning the conflict into a Saturday morning cartoon. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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