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Kingsman: The Secret Service (4K Ultra HD)

Fox // R // February 22, 2016 // Region 0
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted March 19, 2016 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

One of the most fun movies from 2014 makes the cut and is among the
first wave of 4k Ultra HD discs to hit the home theater market: Kingsman:
The Secret Service
. Directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring
Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, and Samuel Jackson, the film takes the
spy movies that we loved from the 60's and updates them for a new
generation. The 4K disc looks and sounds superb too, which makes
this worth a purchase.


Based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons comic The Secret Service
published by Marvel's imprint Icon, Kingsman is the story of Eggsy
Unwin (Taron Egerton), a fatherless, lower-class London youth with
no prospects. His mother has taken up with the head of the local
thugs, a small-time crook named Dean (Geoff Bell) who is abusive to
her and Eggsy, but what can the young man do?

His situation changes when Eggsy is arrested and used a literal 'get
out of jail free' card that Harry Hart (Colin Firth) gave him years
ago upon the death of his father. The police, much to their chagrin,
are ordered to let him go, and outside of the station an impeccably
dressed Hart is waiting for him. The pair retire to a local pub
where Harry reveals that Eggsy's father died while on a mission for
a top-secret, highly trained spy organization, The Kingsman. Unwin
is finding it all a little hard to believe until a group of Dean's
thugs, mad at the lad for the incident that caused his arrest, enter
the bar and order Hart to leave so they can pummel the Eggsy in
peace. Harry gets up, walks to the door and locks it. He then takes
out the group without breaking a sweat.

After a minor test, Harry puts forth Eggsy's name, over the
objections of his boss Chester (Michael Caine), to go through the
rigorous Kingsman training to replace a member lost in the line of
duty. The working-class youth is thrown into a deadly training
program with a group of other recruits, all from upper-class
backgrounds, and it's not clear if any of them will survive.

The other plot line of the film involves a case the Kingsman are
working involving a researcher who was kidnapped, but then reappears
unexpectedly unharmed. It seems that several prominent officials and
scientists have also disappeared only to return after a short amount
of time, and Harry traces the trail back to an incredibly wealthy
tech giant, Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine has
come up with an audacious plan to fix all of the problems in the
world. The only catch is that it involves killing off most of

This movie is a nice homage to the spy movies and TV shows of the
60's. It takes all the elements that we've come to love and updated
them for a new century. The Kingsman have the cool gadgets that
James Bond employed along with the style and elan of John Steed
(from The Avengers). And, of course, there's a
larger-than-life villain with a grand scheme to damage the world. To
that mix they've added a 21st Century spin: the fight scenes are
more intricate and dynamic (and they that owe more to The Matrix
than Goldfinger), the humor comes more frequently, and the
protagonist is more relatable to millennials. The result is a fun
and exciting movie.

Colin Firth fills his role wonderfully, giving the agent confidence
and style that harken back to the movie spies of old while still
being someone distinct and different. The person in the film who
looked like they were having the most fun however was Samuel L.
Jackson. He made Valentine such a wonderful-over-the-top villain
with a pronounced lisp-like speech pattern that it's hard not to
smile while his character is on the screen.

The only real flaw with the film is that it changes tone a bit
halfway though. The first part is standard spy-genre stuff, setting
up the plot of the second half with Eggsy training and Harry putting
the pieces together. There's a good amount of humor and some
exciting fist-fights too. The second part gets more violent,
starting with a massacre at a church, which doesn't mesh well with
the earlier, more light-hearted, first half. It's a pretty jarring
transition, which isn't really telegraphed, and it can leave some
viewers, my wife included, with a bad taste. This seems to be a
stylistic choice of director Matthew Vaughn, who had the same
problem Kick-Ass, and does not ruin the film, it just turns it into
a different beast.

The Ultra HD Disc:

This release comes with both a 4K Ultra HD disc and a Blu-ray disc
in a single-width keepcase.


Like the many of the other first wave 4K UHD titles, this movie was
sourced from a 2K master (also used for the Blu-ray disc) that was
then upconverted. Even so, this disc is a distinct improvement over
the Blu-ray release. The colors really make the movie more
eye-catching and the level of detail is vastly improved. The pores
on faces and motes of dust floating in the air can be seen with much
more clarity. The white, snow covered mountains at the end of the
film are bright and vivid, and the few scenes that take place in
space are just as impressive with the blacks being dark and inky.
Overall, this is a very nice looking disc and early adopters of the
format will be happy with the results, even if it is upconverted.


The movie arrives with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, but like
Fox's other first wave releases, there is not a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X
track available. Even without the newest audio on the disc, the
movie still sounds excellent. The large battles sequences pack a
sonic wallop that adds a lot to the film, but the more quite scenes
are also well thought out, and their lack of a lot of audio activity
acts as a good counterpoint to the more dynamic scenes. The
background music comes through clearly and at an appropriate level,
and the dialog is likewise clean and clear. I can't find anything to
complain about on the audio side.


There are no extras included on the 4k UHD disc.
Buy from






Highly Recommended

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