CHARLIE BRIGDEN IS A WRITER AND JOURNALIST BASED IN SOUTH WALES WHO SPECIALISES IN FILM AND FILM MUSIC WRITING. HE HAS A REPUTATION FOR AN INCISIVELY ANALYTIC AND ENTERTAINING STYLE AND CAN BE FOUND AT SUCH PLACES AS THE QUIETUS AND ROGER EBERT AS WELL AS WORKING FOR CLIENTS LIKE MONDO AND INDICATOR.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

By Karol Krok kingsman-online-exclusive-1-1

Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Composer: Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson

The Film: An adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic book (co-created with Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons) features an all-star cast and tells a story of a how one superspy recruits a street kid to become a spy and face global threat. Apparently quite subversive Kingsman: The Secret Service received solid reviews from critics.

The Score: Henry Jackman finds himself collaborating for the fourth time with director Matthew Vaughan, while co-composer Metthew Mergeson works for him for the second time. Even though all the previous comic book films from Henry (X-Men: First Class, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) were scored in a modern way, Kingsman: The Secret Service features a much more traditional orchestral soundscape with some stylistic nods to Bond series (and other classic spy films, for that matter).

Distinguishing Features: The main Kingsman: The Secret Service theme is effective and has just as many faces as spies it depicts. It can be heard in the majority of tracks on the soundtrack album - heroic variations in 'Manners Maketh Man'), contemplative  solo piano statements in 'To Become a Kingsman', modern guitar-led version in 'Pick a Puppy' or mysterious and sexy woodwind quotes in 'Drinks With Valentine'. Apart from that, of particular note are: 'An 1815 Napoleonic Brandy' and its haunting choir passage and 8-minute 'Calculated Infiltration' which forms the extended action climax of this story.

Final Thoughts: While still somewhat stuck in the modern action ostinato patterns of contemporary action films in some places, Kingsman: The Secret Service manages to inject enough melody and orchestral texture to elevate it above several recent Henry Jackman scores for comic book films. The ever-present recognisable theme is a big plus. Undemanding fun.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is out now from La-La Land Records

The Journey Inside

In Context: Jupiter Ascending