Spy caper Kingsman: The Secret Service blew the doors off Comic-Con’s Hall H with a storming presentation on Friday 25 July, showcasing two big, slick action sequences.
Comic creator Mark Millar hosted the panel, and talked about missing the fun in modern spy movies, laughing, “When Bond kills a guy now, he cries in the shower about it afterwards.”
Director Matthew Vaughn prepared a video intro for the crowd with Mark Hamill in tow. Vaughn wore a Kick-Ass mask, and after a brief intro, he spun the camera to reveal Hamill wearing a Hit-Girl wig, and sporting a bushy beard.
“I’m in the UK working on an obscure, low-budget independent film,” quipped Hamill. “The beard, by the way, is unrelated to this movie. I’m up for the title role in the George Lucas story…”
This led straight into the first clip from the film, which will be familiar to fans of Millar’s source comic (although it’s a slight twist on that scene, which also featured Hamill himself).
Here, the Star Wars actor plays an English-accented university lecturer, and he’s being held captive in a ski lodge by some high-end goons. Before long, a debonair secret agent (Jack Davenport), busts in to stage a rescue, taking out the bad guys with flair ( Kick-Ass ’s visual panache and penchant for violence is evoked in the acrobatic gunplay and multiple headshots). A classic Bondian hero, Davenport even finds time to sip on a vintage Scotch.
He’s soon stopped in his tracks by someone who’s likely to be one of 2014’s most memorable henchmen (or women). Gazelle (played by Sofia Boutella), has sharp blade attachments to her amputated-to-the-knee legs, and she uses them to slice Davenport in half, straight down the centre. This paves the way for Valentine, Samuel L. Jackson’s villain, to enter and hint at a grander plan. “I promise by the time I find out who he works for, you and I will be the best of friends,” he lisps in a high-pitched voice. “Two Jedi masters in one scene – my God!” gasped Millar after the clip.
Jackson was present on the panel, and admitted that it had been a lifelong dream to star in a spy film. “I’ve been watching James Bond movies since From Russia With Love , and always wanted to be in one,” he said. “An opportunity presented itself to be in a film that was very much like that, and they asked me to be a character that would be like a quintessential Bond villain.”
The second scene shown focussed very much on the interaction between gentleman spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and his young recruit Eggsy (Taron Egerton). “In the film I play his mentor, but in reality the roles were quite reversed,” gushed Firth of Egerton. “I took so much inspiration from this boy… He will not need an introduction after this film comes out.”
This particular scene was set in a London boozer, and saw Eggsy rebelling against Hart and his ivory tower/silver spoon upbringing, until the pair were interrupted by a gang of yoofs looking to settle a score with Eggsy, who suggests making an exit.
Hart tries to appeal to the troublemakers. “I’ve had a very emotional day, I’d appreciate it enormously if you could just leave us in peace so that I can finish this pint of Guinness.”
When it’s clear that they’re not going to leave them be, Hart locks the doors to the pub, and begins taking them out in spectacular (and immaculately coiffed) style, with the help of his trusty umbrella. In full on badass mode, Firth dispatches them with ease, in an eye-poppingly frenetically choreographed scene, in which Vaughn breathlessly outdoes even his Kick-Ass rucks for speed and intensity. The end of the fight reveals Hart’s umbrella to be the most gadget-packed since Batman Returns .
Finally, the panel was wrapped up with the reveal of a new trailer, which featured some fun interplay between Hart and Valentine. “Do you like spy movies?” asks Valentine. “Nowadays they’re all a little serious for my taste… I always felt the old Bond films were only as good as the villains,” responds Hart.
The trailer goes on to hint at Valentine’s nefarious plan that wipe out huge swathes of the world’s population – “Mankind is the virus, and I’m the cure.” – as well as promising even more high-speed action. Roll on October…
Kingsman: The Secret Service opens in the UK on 17 October 2014.