A number of co-workers told me how wonderful "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was. One or two had the restraint to refer to it as "fun" rather than "excellent" or other unnecessarily freighted words, but the majority vote seemed to lean to this being a work of great value. So my expectations were very high - and correspondingly crushed. If only they'd stopped at "fun."
The movie starts by establishing the kind of over-the-top excellence of the Kingsmen, but also the guilt that Harry Hart (Colin Firth) feels over losing his new recruit. This leads quite a few years later to him bailing Eggsy (Taron Egerton - playing the troubled son of the dead recruit) out of jail, and recruiting him for the Kingsmen. What follows is a series of action set pieces and escapades with the kind of techno-toys James Bond usually carries - but applied with considerably more panache and enthusiasm than the Bond series has mustered in years.
The end result is a charming and entertaining if rather empty film. It's fun and funny, but don't expect brilliance.