Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Kingsman The Secret Service @

Once again I’m sat in a cinema wishing I was watching Kick-Ass (2010).  That was a disruptive riot of a movie that got the tone and the disrespect just right.  Kingsman falls flat for being too much in love with what it should be tearing down.  It doesn’t seem to get that being as good as one’s supposed betters is about more than just becoming one of them.  It’s a fatal flaw.

Don’t get me wrong there is a lot to admire, including a jaw-dropping stand-out scene of mayhem, but even that is compromised through forced moral justification.

It’s also 30 mins too long and a mis-judged joke sees the film end on a staggeringly regressive note.

Film: Watchmen (2009)

Watchmen @

Joe at work asked me if I like Watchmen.  Of course the only possible answer is ‘of course’.  Joe then said that he thought he was the only one but I know that we’re not alone on this.

Watchmen is, I think, the pinnacle of the recent superhero boom and, with it’s pop-culture sensibility, the perfect match for director Zack Snyder’s ‘more is more’ approach to film.  It’s a film that gets better with repeat viewing and although one frequent (and fair) criticism is that it’s too faithful to the source material, the decision to dial things up, to go right to the edge ludicrousness, allows the dense material to transition easily from comic to screen and even improves it.

Highly recommended.


1.  For my money the other recent high points of the superhero craze have been the Captain America movies (2011 / 2014), the rather more punkish Kick-Ass (2010) and Chronicle (2012), the wonderful Hellboy films (2004/2008) and, stretching back past the first run of X-Men movies, Blade (1998).

2.  Joe just started his own blog over at Chin-Up – It’ll be alright .    He’s one post in and it’s very different to these shenanigans but it’s already a great read.