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– by Fox Troilo

Director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) is adding to his Kingsman universe. Appearing at New York Comic Con 2019 alongside an incredible cast that includes Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows), Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), and newcomer Harris Dickinson, Vaughn explained to the audience how he wanted to set up the latest entry in the Kingsman franchise as an origin story, specifically one that wasn’t limited by the events of the future.

The film takes place circa World War I, well before the events of the first two movies which take place in the present.  The story revolves around a father-son pair (Fiennes and Dickinson), who is divided in their perspective of dealing with conflict.  The father, having been through some trauma in his life which has lead him toward the views of pacifism in stark contrast to his son who feels like he must enlist in the army to prove his worth.   The father and son clearly love each other, but their differing world views putt them at odds.

RELATED: Full Trailer For The King’s Man Takes The Action Back To The Great War For The Kingsman Prequel

The movie seems to be a clever balance between this relationship and the action that is sure to follow.  One particular piece of footage debuted shows Hounsou’s character Shola and Rasputin (played by a wild-eyed Rhys Ifans who some may remember as The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man) in hand-to-hand engagement so precisely staged as to mirror a dance with the two men battling with swords and other improvised weapons through an ornate ballroom.

All in all, the footage debuted was impressive and showed a bit of restraint not always evident in the first two movies of this franchise.  The humor is still intact, but the silliness is diminished, making for a bit more polished experienced.  Perhaps, the clearest indication of this change in tone is in the lenses Vaughn chose to film The King’s Man – the same ones used for Lawrence of Arabia.

The King’s Man arrives in theaters on February 14, 2020

Jill Troilo contributed to this article.

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Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.