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

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…
The 10 best Hugh Jackman movies of all time
Grab some popcorn and log in to your streaming services to follow along with our list of Jackman must-sees
Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano in Prisoners

For well over two decades now, Hugh Jackman has been one of Hollywood's most defining movie stars. He's the kind of actor who can do it all: sing, dance, tear up on cue, shoot metal claws out of his hands, etc. Because of his vast array of talents, Jackman has had one of the most varied careers of any major star of his era. He was critical to the early success of the superhero trend, and that role has certainly defined how he's perceived by the public. In between playing Wolverine in various films, though, Jackman has also made time for great movies in a wide array of other genres.

If you like these Hugh Jackman movies, you might want to check out our list of the best Brad Pitt movies as well.

Read more
The best shows to binge on Peacock in July
Lots of NBC hits are on Peacock now — here are the best shows to watch
Gabriel Macht wearing a light gray suit

There are definitely too many streaming services. Thanks to Netflix's revolution, every broadcast network and parent company decided that they had to get in on the streaming wars. Peacock TV is NBC Universal's streaming service, and although it may not seem like the most attractive option, there are actually a number of great Peacock movies and shows available on the service that are hard to find anywhere else.
Some of those popular shows are Peacock streaming originals, although there are plenty that initially aired on NBC or elsewhere, and have wound their way to Peacock thanks in part to the complicated nature of TV rights. Regardless of where the best Peacock shows came from originally, though, all the ones on this list are well worth checking out. Looking for more streaming options? We also have your guide to the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Hulu, and the best shows on Paramount Plus.

Suits (2011)

Read more
Succession (and fashion) fans will probably love Apple TV+’s newest series
What to know about Apple TV plus' La Maison
The Apple TV Plus Logo

Thanks to a multi-billion dollar technology business, Apple is in the rare position of not relying on its streaming service as a primary driver of revenue. That means that Apple puts out fewer shows and movies than its competitors, but also that those shows and movies tend to be of a slightly higher quality. For their latest series, Apple TV+ has announced that they'll be diving into the world of fashion for La Maison. Here's everything we know about the new series and where it's drawing its inspiration from.
La Maison: A feud between two fashion empires
La Maison will be set in a contemporary French atelier and will focus on two feuding families who are akin to the Arnaults and Pinaults. The show was created by showrunners José Caltagirone and Valentine Milville and was based on an original idea from executive producer Alex Berger.

The series, which will be in French, will feature a roster of great talent.

Read more