With Matthew Vaughn having directed Kick-Ass, one of the riskiest comic-book movies ever made, and X-Men: First Class, which totally redeemed the mutant franchise, the director is a big name in comic book movies.
But that’s not it, as Vaughn has turned Kingsman, another comic book series, into a hugely successful movie franchise. And having directed the first two movies and now the upcoming prequel, Vaughn has built one of the best worlds outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the original movie set such a high bar, The King’s Man may possibly top it. But until then, these are the best movies to watch to get excited.
Updated on May 3rd, 2021 by Mark Birrell: There's so much talent involved with The King's Man that it's no wonder that movie fans are excited about the prequel, even if they're not particularly interested in the rest of the franchise. It'll also enter into a long line of period-set action movies that play around with late 19th/early 20th century designs and styles. We've added an extra 5 movies to this list to help show movie fans that there's plenty of similar content out there and even more spy thriller action to get wrapped up in.
A sequel to the first outing of star Robert Downey Jr. as the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows pits the super sleuth against their most famous nemesis, Professor Moriarty, in a blistering action story. Like The King's Man, it looks at the industrialization of warfare at the turn of the 20th century, adding an extra layer of intrigue to its mystery plot.
Another blockbuster that took a successfully stylized approach to early 20th-century warfare was the first solo outing of comic book icon Wonder Woman, whose massively successful debut movie took her to the frontlines of the First World War to track down and kill the God of War himself. Some much-appreciated humor is mixed with the signature action of producer Zack Snyder for a powerful adventure story.
Though not enough of a hit at the box office to start its own franchise, which is a shame, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of the best spy movies of recent years and brimming with star power. An adaptation of the TV show of the same name, the movie has plenty of '60s style and impeccably timed comedy coloring its story of a missing nuclear scientist and the three agents sent to find them and stop a shadowy group's plot.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson, follows a hotel concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes, go on the run after he’s framed for murder. Though the movie is as cartoonish as a live-action movie can get, as it using miniatures for establishing shots, a vibrant color palette, and is typically symmetrical, which is what Anderson is known for, it’s oddly emotional and moving at the end.
Not just limited to Goldmember, the whole Austin Powers series is incredible and every movie should be watched leading up to the release of The King’s Man, but of all of them, Goldmember is most aligned with the Kingsman series. The movie is thoroughly ridiculous and features a ton of great casting, such as Beyoncé in the role of Foxxy Cleopatra, and it’s full of self-aware jokes. Though how much of that will feature in The King’s Man, which looks a little more serious than the previous two movies, is still up in the air.
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