Kingsman: the Secret Service is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Mark Millar. It's an homage to classic spy movies, with a twist. In this film, with the right training, anyone can be a gentleman spy - even women.
Eggsy, a teenager with a rap sheet and a chip on his shoulder, is taken in by Harry Hart (Colin Firth!). He begins training in attempt to become a fucking cool spy. Meanwhile, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson!) is cooking up some pretty bad shit with his sidekick Gazelle (Sofia Boutella).
This movie was exactly what I wanted it to be - an awesome action movie with a bit of humour thrown in, and lots of suit porn.
But what I particularly loved was the treatment of the female characters. The women in this movie are even more ruthless than the men. Gazelle, the baddy, has knife legs. That's right - KNIFE LEGS. And she slices and dices people while Valentine turns away in horror.
There's also a girl in Eggsy's spy class (Roxy), and I spent much of the movie waiting for her to fuck things up or get naked, which women in spy movies ALWAYS do. But guess what? SHE DIDN'T. She did not do either of those things!!
In fact, Roxy and Gazelle are both fairly conservatively dressed for the entire movie. They are both gorgeous, but their boobs and legs are not on display. They are very busy kicking ass, and don't have time to worry about their boobs falling out of their shirts.
I love Bond movies, but there's always a disconnect for me when I'm watching them. The objectification of women in them bothers me, and takes away from my enjoyment. Kingsman doesn't do that. It accepts, FINALLY, that women can kick just as much ass as guys can, without their pesky feminine emotions (or clothing) getting in the way.
My husband, who is far less concerned with the portrayal of women in action movies, also loved this film.
The graphic novel version of Kingsman is more disturbing than the movie. This will not be a surprise to anyone familiar with Mark Millar's work. I actually liked it a lot less than the movie. In the book, Gazelle is a man, and he has no knife legs. So... MEH.
The plot of the book is different in several places, and I liked the changes made in the film. For instance, the resolution at the end of the book is just too easy. In the movie, they actually make things harder on the heroes, and more believable.
Go see the movie, but skip the book unless you are a real Millar fan.
Full disclosure: I paid for the tickets with my own cash, and I do not regret a thing.