One of the few movies to have weathered the Covid-19 release date chaos is The King's Man. Originally pencilled in for a late 2019 release, it was moved to February 2020, and then again, just prior to lockdown, to September 2020, which hopefully puts it beyond the firing line of any further disruption.
We're hoping against hope that director Matthew Vaughn's spy onslaught sticks the landing, because based on the latest trailer, it looks like a load of stylish fun. The movie acts as a prequel to Vaughn's hit Kingsman films, both of which were adapted from Marc Millar's graphic novel series. Laced with self-referential James Bond in-jokes and anchored by a likeable Colin Firth/Taron Egerton pairing, both Kingsmans proved to be box office hits.
Now, we get the story about how the Saville Row tailors shop first came to act as the front for the Kingsman spy agency. Replacing Firth and Egerton are Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson, whose age-gap chalk and cheese partnership is what's needed to save the world from a dastardly cabal of villains. These include Russian enemy Rasputin, played by a seriously hairy Rhys Ifans.
Chalk up the requisite elements: slo-mo fight scenes, often laced with absurd humour, a rapid-fire training montage (with Djimon Hounsou taking over as the mentor), a feisty female lead (Gemma Arterton) and a cartoonish (in a good way) sense of world in peril. There's also the spectre of World War I hanging in the background, although we won't be expecting the sobriety of Sam Mendes' Oscar-winning 1917.