Skip to main content

Reviews For The King’s Man Are, Like the Film, All Over the Place

The King's Man promotional art.
20th Century Studios

Rhys Ifans is known for edgy characters in films from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to Notting Hill. His turn as Grigori Rasputin in The King’s Man may be his best turn yet, though.

“I only make decisions when my stomach is full or my balls are empty,” Ifans as Rasputin says to Ralph Fiennes as Orlando Oxford.

“Well thank god dinner is being served,” Oxford responds.

The first critical reviews for The King’s Man, the upcoming third edition in the Kingsman spy team franchise, are out now. To say that reviews are mixed would be an understatement. Some hated the film, some utterly loved it, and some were left perplexed. Let’s dig in and see if we can find some sort of truth for the upcoming film from 20th Century Studios.

The King’s Man explores the cheeky cabal’s world-saving origins as an agency formed to stand against a faction of tyrants and criminal masterminds who are plotting a war to wipe out millions in Europe. It appears that the Kingsmen are the only group who can help in the wake of a coming world war. That WWI actually happened already adds some intrigue and confusion.

Amon Warmann’s Tweet may sum up the wildly varying perspectives so far.

#TheKingsMan: Feels like 3 tonally different movies in 1. Some of it’s good (loved the fight scenes), some of it’s weird (Rhys Ifans makes some CHOICES here), & some of it’s bad (plot takes a while to get going). Better than the awful Kingsman 2, not as good as the original.

— Amon Warmann (@AmonWarmann) December 6, 2021

That’s… fair. A lot of the negative criticism leans towards a narration that takes a while to get to the action and is unable to decide between serious and silly. And most of the positive reviews come from Ifan’s take as Rasputin and support the action when it happens.

“Don’t have a lot positive to say, but Rhys Ifans’ Rasputin is spectacular,” Alison Foreman tweeted about the film. “Just so slippery and slimy you wanna spread him on old toast. The squat dance fighting and vomit (yep) is especially fun, but…exactly as it sounds.”

Related Guides

There’s plenty of fighting in the preview, but reviewers concur that the movie takes its time getting into the action. The plot sounds complex and a little unbelievable, but films are made for suspending belief. As to its real-life origins, however, there are undertones of something rotten about The King’s Man.

THE KING’S MAN is … bizarre,” Hoai-Tran Bui tweeted. “Tonally, it’s the wildest movie I’ve seen this year, its (sic) both self-serious and utterly, totally silly. It also has a deeply troubling plot that the more I think on it, the more I loathe.”

THE KING'S MAN is … bizarre. Tonally, it's the wildest movie I've seen this year, its both self-serious and utterly, totally silly. It also has a deeply troubling plot that the more I think on it, the more I loathe. But Rasputin has superpowers I guess?

— Hoai-Tran Bui (@htranbui) December 6, 2021

Still, setting up the spy agency in the midst of historical events and legendary characters seems to be more than enough for some people.

The King’s Man blends real-life history to the heightened Kingsman world to mostly successful results,” Ian Sandwell tweeted. “At times, the story meanders, but there’s genuine surprises, three Tom Hollander performances, and Rhys Ifans being outrageous as Rasputin. What more do you want?”

Reviews suggest an uneven story that still sounds fun until a strange, maybe even disturbing ending. If action and intrigue are your things, however, The King’s Man sounds like a worthy flavor to try.

The King’s Man releases in theaters on Wednesday, December 22.

Read More: Japanese Manga Adaptation ‘Alice in Borderland’ Returns to Netflix in 2022

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
Apple just gave hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders a great reason to use Apple Maps and ditch Google Maps
Go anywhere and never get lost
Apple Maps update press release photo

Google Maps has long been a dominant player in navigation, known for its comprehensive data and ease of use. However, with the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced a game-changing feature that's set to make Apple Maps the go-to choice for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Apple is finally introducing offline maps, and it's a feature that will revolutionize the way hikers, campers, skiers, and snowboarders navigate the great outdoors.
iOS 17 unveils offline maps for Apple Maps
Apple Maps has come a long way since its initial launch, and it's continually striving to offer users a more robust and feature-rich experience. With the launch of iOS 17 on September 18, 2023, Apple is introducing offline maps, a feature that will be a game-changer for those who love outdoor activities.

Offline maps allow users to select specific areas to download to their phones. Once downloaded, these maps can be accessed and used without an internet connection. This makes it possible to enjoy turn-by-turn navigation and conduct searches even in remote areas where internet connectivity may be unreliable or nonexistent. It works similarly to Google Maps in the sense that you do need a WiFi connection to download the maps, but after that, you're good to go off the grid.
The perfect companion for outdoor adventures
For outdoor enthusiasts, this feature is a dream come true. Whether you're hiking in the wilderness, camping in a remote location, skiing down the slopes, or snowboarding in the mountains, having access to offline maps can be a lifesaver. Here's how this feature can benefit different adventure seekers:

Read more
Ultimate relaxation: This massage chair is $3,700 off until tomorrow
A woman sitting in the Sharper Image Revival Zero Gravity Massage Chair.

Relaxing at home is a much-underrated activity for many of us. That's why we had to highlight one of Best Buy's deals of the day which has a Sharper Image Revival Zero Gravity Massage Chair down to $1,799. It usually costs $5,499 so you're saving a spectacular $3,700 off the regular price. Whether you've had a long day at work or you've just got back from a hectic session at the gym, you need a great massage chair to relax into. Here's what we know about it while you decide whether to hit the buy button or not. Remember -- you've only got until the end of today to do so.

Why you should buy the Sharper Image Revival Zero Gravity Massage Chair
Arriving with no assembly required, the Sharper Image Revival Zero Gravity Massage Chair is far better than any of the best massage guns you may have been considering for your post-workout recovery. It offers the most beneficial position for you to sit with the least amount of pressure on your spine.

Read more
These are the 13 best Brad Pitt movies, ranked
Does your favorite Brad Pitt movie make the list?
Brad Pitt staring across the table

If you were to look up the word "superstar" in the dictionary, it wouldn't be surprising if Brad Pitt's visage was strewn across the page. When you hear his name, it’s hard not to think of his chiseled abs, effortless charm, and distinctively beautiful face. Many may even immediately think of all the media surrounding his romantic entanglements with Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston, but we’re definitely not here to talk about that.

Today, we are here to talk about the many strides Brad Pitt has made in his film career; from war movies to heist comedies, he's taken his physical beauty and made the most of it. While he may not have the reputation of Tom Hanks or Al Pacino, Pitt has become a great performer in his own right. In addition to his prolific acting career, Pitt is also a producer with more than 60 credits to his name. Clearly, there is much more to him than just what meets the eye, which is part of what makes him such a compelling screen presence.

Read more