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Matthew Vaughn
Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans
Writing Credits:
Matthew Vaughn, Karl Gajdusek

In the early years of the 20th century, the Kingsman agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.

Box Office:
$100 million.
Opening Weekend:
$5,915,542 on 3180 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 131 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 2/22/2022

• “The Great Game Begins” Documentary
• “No Man’s Land” Featurette
• “Remembrance and Finding Purpose” Featurette
• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The King's Man [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 3, 2022)

After two films set in modern times, the Kingsman franchise gives us an “origin story” for its third chapter. With 2021’s The King’s Man, we find out how the “secret service” branch featured in the prior flicks came into existence.

In 1902, British noble Orlando, the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) visits a South African concentration camp during the Second Boer War along with wife Emily (Alexandra Maria Lara) and young son Conrad (Alexander Shaw). This ends poorly, as a sniper assault leaves Emily dead.

Fast-forward 12 years and Orlando protects teenaged Conrad (Harris Dickinson) at all costs. When World War I breaks out, Conrad desperately wants to join the military, but his dad refuses to allow this.

Along the way, Orlando becomes cognizant of a conspiracy to amplify the aspects of WWI via sinister figures such as Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) and Mata Hari (Valerie Pachner). While Orlando continues to butt heads with his son’s ambitions, he also fights to keep England – and the world – safe from the insidious plot.

Back in 2015, I thought Kingsman: The Secret Service offered a completely winning blast of fresh air that used its over the top action to become a dazzling genre entry. 2017’s Kingsman The Golden Circle fared less well but it came with enough excitement and fun to still mostly entertain.

Though the “origin story” set-up didn’t enthrall me, my enjoyment of those prior movies brought me into King’s Man with the reasonable expectation that I’d like it. After all, this film came from writer/director Matthew Vaughn, the auteur behind the prior flicks.

Alas, King’s Man feels like a shadow of those earlier tales. Too long and too slow, the film disappoints in most ways.

Some of this stems from the basic nature of the movie. Like I mentioned, I don’t find the notion of a Kingsman origin story all that compelling as a concept, so the flick comes with a moderate uphill climb from the start.

Nonetheless, as also noted, I throw a lot of goodwill Vaughn’s way. Despite my skeptical view of the movie’s basic narrative, I hoped he’d bring us another exciting action tale.

Unfortunately, Vaughn barely remembers that King’s Man exists as part of that genre. The movie devotes far too little of its running time to the kind of thrills we expect from a Kingsman movie, so the story plods through much of its length.

Whereas Vaughn imbued the first two movies with wild energy, Man comes across as much more subdued. It paints a darker tale than the prior flicks, so it lacks the same manic feel.

That would seem fine if Man managed to tell a compelling tale. However, rather than depict an intriguing “origin story”, we mostly find ourselves stuck with a thin psychological character tale.

Much of the narrative follows the tedious battle between overprotective daddy Orlando and on-the-cusp-of-manhood Conrad. It doesn’t help that 24-year-old Dickinson can’t pass for 17, but even without that issue, the battles between father and son feel stale and tedious.

Neither Orlando nor Conrad even develop into interesting personalities, and their conflicts fail to seem intriguing. We can tell where the story will go well before it gets there, and that makes the tale tiresome.

It doesn’t help that Dickinson creates a bland semi-leading man. While he looks the part, he lacks charisma and fails to turn Conrad into an engaging role.

Man includes a solid cast overall, with folks like Fiennes, Ifans, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Arterton, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode and others in tow. In a three-pronged role as the leaders of England, Germany and Russia, Tom Hollander manages some spark, and Ifans occasionally threatens to burst off the screen, but in general, the actors feel constrained and without much oomph.

Man also simply takes far too long to nudge toward the actual establishment of the Kingsman Secret Service. Again, too much of the tale focuses on the tiresome daddy/son stuff, and the murky conspiracy plot with Rasputin and company doesn’t work either.

While not a complicated story domain at its heart, Man fails to paint these dastardly efforts in a clean, dynamic manner. Instead, these elements feel muddled and fail to give us much of real interest.

In the third act, Vaughn remembers Man comes as part of an action franchise, and the flick kicks to life somewhat at that time. Nonetheless, it still lacks the thrills of the first two movies, and these efforts seem like too little, too late.

Really, Vaughn becomes possibly the biggest drag on the film, as he simply fails to deliver the verve and personality the movie needs. Ultimately, this turns in a too slow and too long attempt to expand a previously engaging franchise.

Footnote: an added scene pops up a little less than two minutes into the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

The King’s Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a pretty high quality presentation.

Sharpness seemed solid. Only minor softness materialized, so most shots offered nice clarity and delineation.

Jagged edges and shimmering failed to mar the presentation, and I also saw no edge haloes. Print flaws never popped up here.

In terms of palette, Man went down a heavy teal path, with a bit of orange thrown in as well. These choices don’t surprise, but they looked fine. As depicted, the colors came across in a positive manner.

Blacks seemed dark and tight, and low-light shots demonstrated generally nice smoothness, though they leaned a little dense at times. This turned into an appealing image.

Similar thoughts greeted the strong DTS—HD MA 7.1 soundtack of Man. With a mix of action scenes, the soundfield offered a lot of chances for involving audio, and it took good advantage of them.

The channels created a strong sense of place and action. These allowed elements to appear in logical locations and move around the spectrum well.

Of course, audio quality appeared very good as well. Music was full and rich, while speech seemed crisp and concise.

Effects offered nice range and heft, with tight highs and warm lows. I felt the audio added a lot to the movie experience.

As we move to extras, the main attraction comes from The Great Game Begins, a six-part documentary. It fills a total of one hour, 29 minutes, 33 seconds and includes notes from writer/director Matthew Vaughn, production designer Darren Gilford, costume designer Michele Clapton, director of photography Ben Davis, visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton, military costume designer Alex Fordham, hair/makeup designer Jenny Shircore, construction manager Brian Neighbour, assistant art director Oliver Benson, stunt coordinator Mark Ginther, 1st AD 2nd unit Joe Geary, property master Ty Teiger, supervising standby prop Alex Boswell, stunt double Harley Durst, 2nd unit supervising armourer Jon Baker, composer Matthew Margeson, co-composer Dominic Lewis, and actors Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Tom Hollander, Gemma Arterton, Harris Dickinson, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Brühl, Valerie Pachmer, Joel Basman, and Stanley Tucci.

“Begins” covers the roots and development of this prequel, influences and historical elements, story/characters, cast and performances, photography, sets and costume design, stunts and action, music,

With almost 90 minutes at its disposal, “Begins” offers plenty of room to explore the movie’s creation, and it does well in that regard. The documentary lacks much happy talk and it becomes a deep, involving view of the production.

In addition to the film’s red band trailer, we find two featurettes. No Man’s Land goes for 15 minutes, 43 seconds and provides remarks from Vaughn, Fordham, Geary, Clapton, Baker, Dickinson, action designer Chris Cowan, prosthetics supervisor Waldo Mason, and actor Neil Jackson.

This program looks at the recreation of the WWI battles seen in the film. It brings a thorough investigation of the related domains.

Finally, Remembrance and Finding Purpose lasts 26 minutes, 28 seconds and delivers info from Vaughn, Royal British Legion Director General Charles Byrne, British Army veteran Martin Tye and wife Beckie Ingram, British Army Sergeant Instructor Lee Hardy, Royal British Legion Officer Commanding Ian Thomas, veterans Anthony Cooper, Naomi Hall, Leon Parker, Nick Redshaw, James Gardner, Annette Penfold, Alex Owen, Louis Nethercott, Carl Shadrake, Peter Dunning, Lee Patmore, Mark Hepworth, Help for Heroes Sports Recovery Manager Hannah Lawton, and veteran’s wife Megan Harris.

“Purpose” looks at organizations and efforts intended to help veterans. While well-meaning, this feels more like a public service message than an informative program.

As a prequel, The King’s Man fails to create an especially intriguing opening chapter for the franchise. Though it occasionally sparks to life, too much of it feels bland and forgettable. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and audio along with a strong collection of bonus materials. The third entry in this series proves to offer the weakest.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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