English producer and director Matthew Vaughn has quickly become one of my favourite individuals working in the film industry today. In the space of around ten years (2004-2015) Vaughn has directed five feature films all of which have been awesome. As a result of this he is possibly my favourite director of the moment! So here I just want to rank his five directorial efforts from least to most favourite. Let it be noted that none of these films are bad and I do enjoy them all! So in reverse order…
5) X-Men: First ClassReleased in 2011, X-Men: First Class was an almost ironic job for Vaughn as his previous film was the superhero comedy Kick-Ass which came out in the previous year. Here though Vaughn proved that he could make a more serious superhero movie and has added a solid X-Men movie to the franchise which most people will rank highly amongst the other films. This movie is probably the only one of Vaughn’s that I would say I don’t love. However, I do really like it and I can recognise it as a great film. The best thing about this film for me was introducing Michael Fassbender as the young Magneto. Fassbender is awesome in this role and Vaughn helped to set a lot of the foundations for this character who we see develop even further in Days of Future Past.
4) Layer CakeLayer Cake was Vaughn’s first time in the directors chair, however it really doesn’t show as he crafts an interesting and exciting crime drama. Daniel Craig is great in his role here and his characters dislike for guns is so ironic due to Craig’s future as Bond, Layer Cake was apparently the role that landed him with Bond, so it could be argued that Layer Cake gave us Casino Royale and Skyfall? Well maybe that is a stretch but nonetheless it gave Craig a great role. The cast is great and there many well know actors here which made the film such a treat to watch. Vaughn also handles the subject matter well meaning that we can get on board with the characters and story. Layer Cake also has a fantastic ending, all of this makes it hard for me to put this at number 4 on this list but Vaughn is just so good that I think his next three films are better!
3) Kingsman: The Secret Service
Currently in my top two films for 2015 comes Vaughn’s most recent film, Kingsman: The Secret Service. As a massive fan of the old school Bond films I couldn’t get enough of this throwback which is basically the spy version of Kick-Ass. There are so many great things about this film but probably the best thing is the action. These sequences are so well directed as they are visually impressive but so much fun too. Flip me Colin Firth has come a long way from Mr. Darcy. The reason I was able to figure out that Kingsman would go no higher than third place was simply due to a few elements of the finale which I wasn’t so keen on but apart from that this film is pretty flawless and most likely the most fun you will have at the cinema in 2015.
2) Stardust Matthew Vaughn’s second film was the first of his films that I saw and from my very first viewing I loved it. As with all Vaughn films the cast is so versatile and boasts many impressive names, but they all work so well together. I loved the three different storylines on show here and how they converge is just great. The score for Stardust is on another level and I frequently listen to it outside of watching the film. The fantasy elements in the film are handled wonderfully and never become naff or silly. Mark Strong a frequent collaborator with Vaughn and one of my favourite actors plays Septimus here in possibly my favourite ever role of his but he is just one of the many great characters in Stardust. Also Take That’s Rule The World, I don’t need to say anymore.
1) Kick-AssIt’s a really close run thing for me between my top 3 but Kick-Ass manages to take my top spot and what a deserved favourite. Like I have already discussed Vaughn always manages to get a great cast and Kick-Ass proves no different featuring the likes of Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all in perfect roles. Kick-Ass has a terrific use of music throughout and features one of my favourite scenes in all of Vaughn’s movies, when Kick-Ass and Red Mist are just grooving out to Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, it’s just brilliant. Kick-Ass is simultaneously a great addition to the superhero canon whilst also perfectly parodying the genre.
So there you have it, my rankings for Matthew Vaughn’s five films. Do you agree or disagree? What would your rankings look like. Leave a comment below and get the discussion going!