Word on the street this year is that Taron Egerton was attached to this movie in the titular role because everyone still remembers the last two Robin Hood reincarnations starring Kevin Costner (1991) and Russel Crowe (2010).
Egerton has sold the persona of Egsy to an entirely new generation of moviegoers that just loves the adventures of Kingsman and the loopy, crazy world of spies and world trotting loonies that the Kingsmen have to bring to justice. For the uninitiated, Kingsman The Secret Service is an extreme action series that borrows extensively from James Bond and Jason Borne about a super-secret highly financed group of individuals who are trained and deployed worldwide by wealthy merchants (starting in the fashionable apparel industry) to supplement global agencies such as MI 6 and the CIA. The trick part is that Kingsman are NOT part of any official government program.
Officially they are criminals taking the law into their own hands.
And for those who like to compare notes, the Kingsman franchise is a thinly disguised clone of the John Wick franchise, in the sense that both of them play around a core of non-stop action sequences involving close quarters firearm showdowns, with the hero, highly outnumbered and shooting it out at super close range, using a combination of martial arts and fancy military style reloads resulting in a ton of bodies piling up by the end of the sequence.
Kingsman is a set of criminals upholding the law while John Wick is a loner super assassin that routinely has to take down entire mafia rings.
Both John Wick and Kingsman’s core adventure revolve around these showdowns with combat stuntwork that mimics in intensity and excitement a first shooter video game gameplay. You know the genre, Battlefield, Gears of War, and Crysis.
So of course it makes sense to bring in Taron Egerton, the face of Kingsman as the newest reincarnation of Robin Hood in what has been leaked is a modern and very liberal reinterpretation of the classic folk hero. The new Robin Hood, for critics who had an early sneak peek, plays more like a modern Bruce Willis heist movie.
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On top of the two recent Robin Hood adaptations, new adventures such as Tomb Raider with Alicia Vikander ring close in tone and structure to this newer adaptation of the Sherwood Forest Rogues. Variety’s interview with Jamie Foxx disclosed that the movie’s fighting sequences seem to be more akin to soldiers using automatic assault rifles than bow and arrows. And to this critic the scenes of Crusaders in Jerusalem felt more like soldiers on patrol in Mogadishu in Black Hawk Down (2001).
And yet, all rumors to the liberties taken with the beloved classic fable do not seem to detract from the appeal of Tagerton in the lead role. Noting that British Cinema is uproariously infamous and notorious for making all kind of modern adaptations of classics, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and Anonymous (2011) to King Arthur Legend of The Sword (2017), and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), some of which have been poorly received by North American audiences.
It's easy to see Taron’s appeal, his good looks, his affable demeanor, his age, his British accent gives us at once a hint of sophistication and projects intrigue to North American female audiences – he is an outsider but not too far out of reach because as Egsy he impressed upon moviegoers his lower income status and his slum neighborhood origins. That’s to say, clearly, he is not from a stratospheric level of society the likes of Altered Carbon’s Laurens Bancroft. Yes, we are talking about the character and not the actor but being his breakout role, most audiences identify the actor with his most visible onscreen persona.
And Taron Egerton does very little in terms of public appearances or public relations stunts to step out of Egsy’s shadows.
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