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BAZ BAMIGBOYE: The King’s Man is a brilliant combination of epic WWI drama and action thriller

It turns out that Ralph Fiennes is the original 00 secret agent.

The Oscar-nominated actor plays the role of Orlando Oxford in Matthew Vaughn’s exciting new spy movie The King’s Man.

Technically, it’s an origin story / prequel to Vaughn’s two successful Kingsman films, featuring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton as members of an elite British intelligence agency.

But in terms of style and substance, The King’s Man jumps ahead of the cheeky chappie Kingsman photos.

Of course, the designation 00 is the origin of Ian Fleming’s James Bond films. And just to be clear, it is not referred to in The King’s Man.

It turns out that Ralph Fiennes is the original 00 secret agent.  The Oscar-nominated actor stars as Orlando Oxford in Matthew Vaughn's exciting new spy movie The King's Man, writes BAZ BAMIGBOYE

It turns out that Ralph Fiennes is the original 00 secret agent. The Oscar-nominated actor stars as Orlando Oxford in Matthew Vaughn’s exciting new spy movie The King’s Man, writes BAZ BAMIGBOYE

Director Matthew Vaughn has filled his cast with top names - including Rhys Ifans as Rasputin

Director Matthew Vaughn has filled his cast with top names - including Rhys Ifans as Rasputin

Director Matthew Vaughn has filled his cast with top names – including Rhys Ifans as Rasputin

But the symbolism of the Duke of Oxford’s initials amused me – because of Fiennes’ connection to the Bond films, in which he plays M, and the fact that the Duke is a great action hero who reveals a fictional plot to start World War II I involve a demonic figure known as The Shepherd (because he raises rare Angora goats).

Vaughn laughed when I mentioned the 00 connection. “It was not deliberate!” he stood on it. “The penny fell only when someone saw that OO was sewn into a coat Ralph is wearing in the movie.”

Gemma Arterton is another Bond link.

The actress, who appeared alongside Daniel Craig in Quantum Of Solace, is great in The King’s Man as Polly Watkins, who works as a nanny and takes care of Oxford’s son Conrad (played as an adult by star-in-the-making Harris Dickinson).

Technically, it's an origin story / prequel to Vaughn's two successful Kingsman films, featuring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton as members of an elite British intelligence agency.  Picture: Egerton and Firth in the first Kingsman movie, released in 2014

Technically, it's an origin story / prequel to Vaughn's two successful Kingsman films, featuring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton as members of an elite British intelligence agency.  Picture: Egerton and Firth in the first Kingsman movie, released in 2014

Technically, it’s an origin story / prequel to Vaughn’s two successful Kingsman films, featuring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton as members of an elite British intelligence agency. Picture: Egerton and Firth in the first Kingsman movie, released in 2014

Egerton also starred in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to the first 2017 movie

Egerton also starred in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to the first 2017 movie

Egerton also starred in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to the first 2017 movie

Arterton’s Polly also serves as a code-breaker, managing a team of chefs, servants and servants who provide information to the young Oxford service.

“She’s kind of like Mary Poppins – but more rock and roll,” Arterton told me on the set last year. “You can tell from the start that she runs things around the house.” She also leads the field.

The film is a brilliant combination of epic WWI drama and action thriller, with threads of Vaughn’s signature larkiness woven through it.

When I saw Fiennes last year, he described The Duke of Oxford (motto: ‘We are Oxfords, not rogues’) as a nobleman without grace and grace ‘who believes there is a better way to resolve global conflicts’.

In style and substance, The King's Man jumps ahead of the cheeky chappie Kingsman photos

In style and substance, The King's Man jumps ahead of the cheeky chappie Kingsman photos

In style and substance, The King’s Man jumps ahead of the cheeky chappie Kingsman photos

Of course, the designation 00 is the origin of Ian Fleming's James Bond films.  And just to be clear, it is not referred to in The King's Man

Of course, the designation 00 is the origin of Ian Fleming's James Bond films.  And just to be clear, it is not referred to in The King's Man

Of course, the designation 00 is the origin of Ian Fleming’s James Bond films. And just to be clear, it is not referred to in The King’s Man

I was lucky enough to sneak (like you do in a lockdown) in a showing of an unfinished version of The King’s Man, which opens in theaters on September 18.

It was the first photo I had seen on a big screen in more than three months and I was really happy that I was really smitten by its unexpected size.

It’s not all action, either.

There are poignant moments between Fiennes and Dickinson, as Oxford begs his son not to report to the trenches; and something touchingly honorable in the way that it never belittles the sacrifice of those who died in the Great War.

Vaughn has his cast packed with top names – including Rhys Ifans as Rasputin.

In what I think will become a classic sequence, Ifans performs a Cossack folk dance atop a table fighting Fiennes, Dickinson and Djimon Hounsou, who plays Shola, the protector of Oxfords.

Gemma Arterton is another Bond link. The actress, who appeared alongside Daniel Craig in Quantum Of Solace, is great in The King’s Man as Polly Watkins

The film also features Daniel Bruhl and Stanley Tucci.  But the great movie is from Fiennes

The film also features Daniel Bruhl and Stanley Tucci.  But the great movie is from Fiennes

The film also features Daniel Bruhl and Stanley Tucci. But the great movie is from Fiennes

Tom Hollander portrays all three royal cousins ​​- George V, Wilhelm II and Nicholas II of Russia. Charles Dance is suitably imperious as General Kitchener.

Alison Steadman plays one of Polly’s secret agents. Matthew Goode and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who starred in Vaughn’s Kick-Ass movie) play key roles as soldiers.

The film also features Daniel Bruhl and Stanley Tucci. But the great movie is from Fiennes.

Vaughn’s cinema influences are clearly visible in the photo.

He is a big fan of John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine; and a student of David Lean’s masterpiece, in particular Lawrence Of Arabia.

In what I think will become a classic series, Ifans (depicted as Rasputin) performs a Cossack folk dance on top of a table fighting Fiennes, Dickinson and Djimon Hounsou, who plays Shola, the protector of Oxfords

In what I think will become a classic series, Ifans (depicted as Rasputin) performs a Cossack folk dance on top of a table fighting Fiennes, Dickinson and Djimon Hounsou, who plays Shola, the protector of Oxfords

In what I think will become a classic series, Ifans (depicted as Rasputin) performs a Cossack folk dance on top of a table fighting Fiennes, Dickinson and Djimon Hounsou, who plays Shola, the protector of Oxfords

He and cinematographer Ben Davis persuaded Panavision to sell them the 70mm lenses Freddie Young used to shoot scenes on the latter. The lenses kept cracking and needed constant fixation, but they add another dimension to the movie.

As the credits rolled on, I saw the name Claudia Vaughn – aka the supermodel woman of the filmmaker Claudia Schiffer, his partner in Marv Films. “I wouldn’t make movies without her,” Vaughn told me. “She is the driving force behind it all.

“I’m not too worried about what the film critics say. My biggest, toughest critics are Claudia and the kids. ‘

They should now be proud of the old man.

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