Revisionist history fiction is something that I enjoy quite a lot. Whether is is a complete reimagining of historical events for a cool story, like Inglourious Basterds, or something with only minor changes to actual events to make a better translation to film, like Darkest Hour, or even something that is a complete invention, like The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. There's something that fascinates me about true-life events being blended with somebody's imagination.
And along comes The King's Man... a prequel to the two Kingsman movies which follows up on the premise that the secret spy organization was formed by wealthy parents who lost their sons in World War I.
Of course knowing this means that a huge part of the movie is a known quantity, but it's a fun ride that continues the sensationalized action and violence (seriously, some of the action beats are fantastic, no matter how unrealistic)...
I don't know why I'm shocked that Ralph Fiennes ended up being such a capable action star in this film... they managed to make an incredible action star out of Colin Firth in the first two... but it was really cool to see him in the thick of things. That we also got Djimon Hounsou and Gemma Arterton was just icing on the cake.
This bit of historical fiction does a pretty good job of taking historical people and events and weaving them into the story. Though some of them are certainly more believable than others. The storyline given to Woodrow Wilson went a bit too far outside of reality to make you take things too seriously, but was still entertaining. And cool to see how many of the things you see in the original films came to be, which is usually pretty clever.
Anyway... pretty cool movie. Still not in the league of the original Kingsman, which was amazing from start to finish, but I did enjoy it more than Kingsman: The Golden Circle which had a lackluster story to tell.
The King's Man is available for purchase now, or you can watch on HBO Max and Hulu come Friday.