King’s Man: First Mission is just plain boring. Vaughn goes back to the times of the eponymous agency but does not fuel his film with the energy we know. As if regress was cutting his wings. There is immeasurably less action here than in the previous installments of the series, and the director feels uncomfortable in more serious poetry. This is already suggested by the prologue, when Orlando Oxford witnesses the death of his beloved somewhere in Africa. Some criticism of colonialism, some pacifist manifesto. As the narrative develops, it turns out that we are not dealing with this or this. With each subsequent scene, the story falls from the creators’ hands more and more. And this time it’s annoying. Instead of a charming mess, we get a film completely devoid of character.
King’s Man: First Mission – review of the Kingsman prequel
It’s not like there’s no madness here. In “King’s Man: The First Mission” there is Rasputin with a weakness for young boys, there is Mata Hari seducing the President of the USA, there is no shortage of spectacular fights and shootings full of excesses. We’ll see it all. The screen sparkles from the ubiquitous potential. The idea of including historical characters and events in a fictional story is as intriguing as creating a spy network of servants, because they have access to the most closely guarded rooms and “no one pays attention to them.” A good development and implementation of these threads could reward us with thick threads for the sewn intrigue. Vaughn, however, prefers to focus on the narrative straight out of “Patriot” and Oxford’s paternal dilemmas. The main character has sworn to protect his son from any possible harm, and therefore does not allow him to fight in the great war.
In theory, this should give the story a personal dimension and an emotional impact. However, Vaugn mercilessly speaks his story in this way, so for each interesting motive there are three scenes explaining or exploiting it without any narrative justification. The plot spreads out in all directions, and the director stubbornly avoids anything that could catch our attention. Instead, we have clichés that strip the script of any tension. We are always a few steps ahead of the creators, which makes the mystery they build around the main villain – a tyrant who wants to see the world in chaos, seem absurd.
King’s Man: First Mission – Premiere – TrailerAlthough we can easily guess it, the antagonist’s identity is revealed only at the very end. Earlier, we see him in the shadows, like Dr. Mabuse, telling the helpers how he intends to implement his diabolical plan. It becomes downright ridiculous because Vaughn thus cuts his story into small pieces that he cannot create a coherent whole. Perhaps King’s Men: First Mission would be better in the form of a series, where we could get to know each other better with the next variations on historical characters, but in this case even the British charm of Ralph Fiennes is not able to cover the chaos on the screen.
King’s Man: First mission – is it worth watching the Kingsman prequel?
Because that’s not what Kingsman was about either. The Mark Millar comic adaptation captivated us with its combination of British distinction and elegance with American ease and ingenuity. This is what Mission: Impossible could look like if Daniel Craig played Ethan Hunt. The director, resigning from magic with fictional and formal measures, exposed all the weaknesses of his story. So it is in vain to look for the charm of the previous parts of the series in “King’s Man: The First Mission”. Its substitute is not enough for us to look forward to the next, upcoming installments of the franchise.