Review: The King’s Man (2021)


The King’s Man (2021)

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn | 130 minutes | action, adventure | Actors: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Harris Dickinson, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, Alexandra Maria Lara, Alexander Shaw, Bevan Viljoen, Valerie Pachner, Daniel Brühl, Joel Basman, Todd Boyce

Everyone has a bad day once in a while. A period when everything seems to be going wrong and lying in your bed is the most attractive prospect of the whole day. ‘The King’s Man’ by director Matthew Vaughn is the cinematographic version of such a disappointing 24 hours. And that is very unfortunate!

‘The King’s Man’ centers on the pacifist Orlando Oxford (Ralp Fiennes) and his son Conrad (a downright dull Harris Dickinson). Father and son live in turbulent times as WWI is approaching. After the death of his mother, Conrad wants to join the army to fight for his country. Orlando does everything he can to save his son from this choice.

Well. ‘The King’s Man’ serves as a prequel to the first two ‘King’s Men’ parts starring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. The chemistry between these two and the grotesque James Bond-esque action sequences was the beating heart of this series. That is sorely missed in this prequel. In fact, this movie is downright boring and flat! Except for a few scenes (the mysterious monk Rasputin is portrayed here by Rhys Ifans as a caricatural sex maniac) the film is damn sluggish. The villains are generally very flat and the action sequences lack the punch of the previous installments.

Gemma Arterton is nice as the witty Polly, but that’s about it. This movie lacks a heart and it seems like few people really enjoyed it. Fiennes is a great actor, but he takes his role way too seriously. That is in stark contrast to Ifans’ acting, which makes this film seem rather unbalanced.

The action scenes are great, but never approach the level of the previous parts. The sharp humor from the previous parts is also missing. The sets are great and the stunts sometimes. Unfortunately that’s it. Never thought that a ‘King’s Men’ movie could be boring, but this prequel succeeded. Very sinful!