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It might be better than the previous film in the franchise, but the poorly executed The King’s Man still contains an overload of interchangeable cartoonishly violent fight scenes.

The King's Man definitely is more than a few cuts above the previous entry in the Kingsmen franchise, the abysmal The Golden Circle. But despite my fondness for alternative history in fiction I cannot bring myself to express any affection for this poorly executed prequel.

Mostly set at the height of the First World War, The King's Man draws events like the assassination of archduke Franz- Ferdinand, the Russian Revolution and Woodrow Wilson's reluctance to enter the war into one huge conspiracy, to be sorted out by an English nobleman and his son.

Rhys Ifans chews the scenery as Rasputin and the unexpected death of one pivotal character you definitely won't see coming, but otherwise this is a paint-by-numbers action flick, with interchangeable cartoonishly violent fight scenes, a total lack of emotional involvement and a 'mysterious' villain whose true identity even the dimmest bulbs will spot a mile off.

Though the finale clearly sets up a sequel, box office is mercifully bad enough to probably prevent one, which at least means that a mid-credits reveal in particularly bad taste will remain unexplored.

release: 2022

director: Matthew Vaughn

starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Harris Dickinson


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