FILM REVIEW | The King's Man

Leading the way: Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson and Gemma Arterton in The King's Man. Picture: 20th Century Studios
Leading the way: Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson and Gemma Arterton in The King's Man. Picture: 20th Century Studios

Matthew Vaughn has directed three movies which have spawned sequels, but he's only stuck around to helm one of them.

Even though X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass were both super successful, it was the outrageous, violent and inventive Kingsman: The Secret Service which tempted Vaughn back for more.

After bringing Kingsman: The Golden Circle to life, Vaughn is back again with a prequel to explain the origins of the secret organisation in The King's Man.

The film - continuing the over-the-top, silly and fun vibes of its predecessors - has a stacked, all-star cast of British actors.

Leading the way are Ralph Fiennes (occasionally brining back memories of his turn in The English Patient), youngster Harris Dickinson (The Darkest Minds), Djimon Hounsou (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), Gemma Arterton (Their Finest), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), Matthew Goode (A Discovery of Witches), Tom Hollander (Pride and Prejudice) and a great many more.

The King's Man is set as World War 1 erupts, and features all the major players leading into the conflict - Franz Ferdinand, King George, Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Nicholas, Rasputin, Lenin, Woodrow Wilson and more.

Hilariously, Hollander plays a trio of roles, portraying George, Wilhelm and Nicholas, who were all cousins.

Ifans as Rasputin is a scene-stealer. He is over-the-top in an over-the-top movie.

There's even a scene where he combines combat and ballet.

People who are even somewhat familiar with history will have a good time with this film, but only if they're willing to go along with the humour and style.

It's got shades of revisionist history mixed in with the lore that's already been created in the previous two films.

The King's Man is remarkably successful in recreating the period, with some WWI production design matching 1917 for its immersive ability.

Rating: 7/10