Before they were posh, super spies saving the present-day world, the heroes of Fox’s Kingsman franchise were posh in an old-timey way befitting of an era where parachutes were considered cutting-edge technology. The latest trailer for Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming Kingsmen prequel, The King’s Man, is light in the way of plot, but it’s rich in the franchise’s signature action sequences that smack ever-so-slightly of camp.
Even though The King’s Man is set almost a decade before the events of the Downtown Abbey film, the two movies exist in a very specific space that both celebrates and pokes a bit of fun at the concept of British aristocracy. Ralph Fiennes’ Duke of Oxford is hellbent on stopping Rhys Ifans as Grigori Rasputin, but he insists on doing so with the dignity and panache befitting of a proper gentleman. The Duke knows that beneath his immaculately-polished exterior, he’s a lethal killer willing to do whatever it takes to defend his country, the kind of mindset that newcomer Conrad (Harris Dickinson) is going to have to adopt quickly if he really wants to become a part of the nascent organisation of spies.