E.There are prequels that give a story a framework, give it a new hue, and encourage negotiation of one’s own perception. In “King’s Man – The Beginning”, the prelude to the two films by Matthew Vaugn that have been released in the last few years and are linked to the comic series, it is not about in-depth clarification, it is about a matter of attitude.
The job of a King’s Man is to be indomitable, well-dressed, downright unprepossessing, decent, and ready to die in the service of humanity at any time. This is known and is reaffirmed at all possible points. Only in the event that a Siberian petty criminal at the beginning of the 20th century as a supporter of an insane Scottish miller’s son manipulated the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and in this way – yes, what actually? – should endanger the further, guaranteed decline of history, only in this case a little trickery is allowed.
Daniel Brühl as a con man
It is roughly the same with the film, which pretends to parody the Bond genre, but only partially tells it. First of all, Orlando, founder of the Guard and Duke of Oxford in the form of a hesitant Ralph Fiennes, loses his wife in front of his son, and little Conrad, who for a long time still hopes that he will be portrayed later, then by Harris Dickinson , the protagonists of this confusing story, watch. The last words of the mother: “Protect our son, he must never see a war again.” It is the year 1902, the promise will hardly be kept, although twelve years later Orlando is still doing everything to help the boy in the family estate in To involve state-supporting dialogues and thus to distract from world events.
From this, however, the prerequisite for the founding idea of the most secret of all secret services emerges from the comic book, in which influential men came together who, after the death of their sons on the battlefields, did not know what to do with their fortunes.
Shiny actors step up and down, Daniel Brühl as impostor Erik Jan Hanussen, the whisperer Kaiser Wilhelm, Gemma Arterton, once a Bond girl, now Oxford’s eternal nanny with fabulous speaking parts (“Why do boys always cause such a mess?”), a furious Rhys Ifans as Rasputin, who at least licks a badly healed scar from Orlando before the duel in an appropriately animalistic way. Motifs and genres rush past: the aristocratic melodrama, the war drama, the action comedy, the parody. The supposed climax is the war going on around Conrad in the trenches, who is pursuing an assignment that is as little known to him as to the viewer and which is reassuringly raised to save the world in the further course of the film.
The villain and driver of international warfare, which Rasputin and the others follow unconditionally, resides on a rocky plateau that offers the prerequisites for dramatic panoramas and action scenes, which are reasonably entertaining thanks to his followers, presumably because of his considerable goat breeding “my shepherd” also no longer dewy technical tricks fulfilled.
And the whole time there is a longing for ironic refraction, for an honest comic relief with all the nonsense that is presented to you here after being postponed eight times due to the pandemic. Agreed, everyone in power except the British are megalomaniac cranks. Sure, Rasputin’s dance performance and the roar of the sea in Ralph Fiennes’ eyes make up for a lot. But in the end it takes a goat who practices vigilante justice so that we can take a sigh of relief from the longed-for parodying attitude.
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