TL;DR – A war film that does not know what it wants to say about war
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this film.
The King’s Man Review –
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the first entry into this universe with Kingsman: The Secret Service. I even liked the follow-up Kingsman: The Golden Circle, though I may be alone on that front. So when I heard that there was going to be a prequel, I was interested but also concerned because revisionist histories can land like a thud. And after watching it all, I’m still not sure.
So to set the scene, we open in South Africa, 1902 with Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his wife Emily Oxford (Alexandra Maria Lara) arriving at British Concentration Camp during the Boer War. They were inspecting the facilities for the Red Cross and meeting Lord Herbert Kitchener (Charles Dance) when a sniper kills Emily in the crossfire. 12-years later, the world is careening towards war because a mysterious force is pulling strings behind the scenes, pushing King George of Britain (Tom Hollander), Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany (Tom Hollander) and Tsar Nicholas of Russia (Tom Hollander) into conflict.
TL;DR – Where Their Finest excels is in creating the world of WW2 United Kingdom and what it was like to make a film during this time, but it is held back a bit is in its slightly clunky script.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
It is at the depths of WW2, Hitler is on the move everywhere, the allies have been forced to retreat from France, London is under almost daily bombings during the Blitz, and the USA is refusing to get involved, it is the darkest of times. However, it is also a time of great change both within society and also within the film industry, with pressures to boost moral but also the need to engage with women in a way that they have never done before. Within this complicated setting, we have the Ministry of Information who is trying to make a film about the Dunkirk evacuation, the biggest military retreat in history yet also a great source of national pride as the whole country mobilised to save the troops from the approaching German Army. This is a great setting for a film, it deals with a lot of issues that feel very much of the time yet still relevant today, but can it maintain your interest for the whole film, well that’s what we are going to look at today.