It is Sweet and Proper to Die for One's Country. 3.5 / 5
Released in UK: 26th December 2021
Directed by Matthew Vaughn.
As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them.
The King's Man is far weightier than the rest of the franchise due to its WW1 setting but despite some tonal inconsistencies still finds time for the dynamic action that the series is known for.
Ralph Fiennes steps into the bespoke shoes of the lead and holds his own in this prequel to the 2014 surprise success showing the origins of the private intelligence service in the early 1900s. After a slow and sombre start, the film finds momentary energy before snapping back and forth between a restrained war drama and a kinetic action thriller.
These inconsistencies interrupt the pacing and leave the final product feeling like two different films fighting for the spotlight. There are some great sequences throughout, the battle on the front line being a personal favourite, but it struggles to serve the action we've come to expect whilst showing respect to its setting and story.
Somehow despite its many delays, The King's Man still kept some of its secrets and excels during the fight scenes which have quickly become director Matthew Vaughn's specialty. It's exciting to see the film finally get released after all this time, but it doesn't quite live up to any remaining expectations.