The King’s Man- An Uneven Origin Story
This is the third of the Kings Man story and this one tells us how it all began. The King’s Man takes place in the early 1900’s, where countries were considered Empires. The movie begins with British Aristocrat Orlando (Ralph Fiennes), his wife Emily (Alexandra Maria Lara) and their young son Conrad (Alexander Shaw) visit a concentration camp, while there assisting the Red Cross, Emily is killed by assassins, which sets off the start off Orlando trying to figure out ways to stop potential conflicts before they occur.
Source: 20th Century Studios Youtube Channel
The story picks up twelve years later, where we find that young Conrad (Harris Dickinson) is now grown and his father has recruited two of his servants, Shola (Djimon Hounsou) and Polly (Gemma Arterton) not only take care of the home, but they also train Conrad to fight. Orlando forms a spy network to protect the British Empire from the Great War. After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, they learn that this was part of the plot to pit German, Russian and British empires against each other. We also learn of a mysterious group whose headquarters are on top of a mountain of agents which includes Rasputin (Rhys Ifans). Conrad and the gang eventually defeat Rasputin but that is just one of a network of spies who are trying to start a global war. After this escapade, Conrad joins the military to his father’s chagrin. Orlando tries to ensure Conrad’s safety but Conrad switches identity with his friend and end up on the frontline.
After a major loss by Orlando and a bout of depression, Shola and Polly rally Orlando back to heading off future conflicts between the empires by trying to save the American President from extortion by Mata Hari (Valerie Pachner) who is also part of the agents who wants to start a war between the empires and keep America out. Orlando and the crew thwart the extortion attempt and recruited an American Ambassador along the way. Orlando buys the Kingsman Tailor Shop as a front for the new organization. The original Kingsman are Orlando, Shola, Polly, King George (Tom Hollander), Archie Reid (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and US Ambassador Bedivere.
The King’s Man is an origin story that seems like its two movies in one. The first half is about the relationship between Father and son and the loss that happens, that motivates the father to make sure that the world is a better place. Then you have the spy side, the action was great, and the protagonist of the movie made for a good twist, but you could see some clues as to who he is. I was happy that Djimon Hounsou survived in a movie for a change. The whole cast was great, I just felt that this movie did not hold up to the original. I understand the main character’s motivation, but the story didn’t excite me. I’m a fan of The Kingsman movies and this is weaker than the prior movies, which is disappointing being that this is an origin story. Taking liberties with history that’s cool but some of it feels thrown in. The King’s Man is an entertaining movie, but the story needed to be more cohesive.
Did you watch The King’s Man? Did you feel that this movie should have gone to streaming instead of a theater release only? Let’s discuss.