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REVIEW: The King’s Man Is a Lavish and Exciting New Entry Into the Franchise

3.5/5 Rasputins.

New trailer for The King's Man

The Kingsman franchise isn’t for everyone, and that is something we can all recognize. It is a commentary on the spy genre that is sometimes too lost in itself to really make a clear statement, but for whatever reason, there are fans (like myself) who flock to its absurdity and love it for everything that it is. And that goes for The King’s Man, as well.

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The prequel stars Ralph Fiennes as Oxford, a duke who is trying to keep his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson) safe from war after losing his wife. With World War I looming over them and the threat of losing the war hot on their heels, Oxford has to come to terms with the fact that his son needs to know about his “secret” life and introduces him to his spy network, including his nanny Polly (Gemma Arterton) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou).

Conrad, for all his bravery, is a great example of what makes the Kingsman franchise work. There are characters like Taron Egerton’s Eggsy, who is thrust into this greatness without really knowing why, and then there are characters like Conrad, who search for the fight because they think it is what they are meant to do.

Throughout the movie, while battling with the historical elements of WWI and a wild Rasputin (Rhys Ifans), we get to see the struggle of a father trying to keep his son safe without understanding that Conrad has to make his own choices. And that’s, for the most part, at the core of each of the Kingsman movies. It is about doing the right thing even though it might not be the best for you. Eggsy constantly puts his mission first, and Conrad, despite his father letting him into his spy organization, still wants to go and fight in the war when he comes of age.

Are there elements of this movie that are so out of this world that you have to ask yourself what you’re watching? Yes, Rasputin does a dance fight move that makes absolutely no sense, but that’s what we’ve come to know and love from this franchise.

The movies aren’t perfect. Their villains are typically people trying to make the world a better place, albeit in the wrong way, and that’s, to me, always a commentary on how James Bond’s villains are similar. In No Time To Die, it was an environmentalist, so it isn’t something that has really changed throughout time, either. I just love how the franchise comments on these genres while still getting to play in them.

I loved that this movie had references to the Statesmen and was heavy handed at times with where it was going because I went in knowing what to expect from it. It is so very Matthew Vaughn and so much of what I’ve come to love from this series that I will take Rasputin being truly on some other planet wherever I can get it.

(image: 20th Century)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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