Kingsman: The Secret Service

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A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. IMDB

Weirdly, I’m still not quite sure what I think about this Bond movie pastiche.  I’m conflicted.  The best way I can think to do this is to nick take inspiration from Cara and the format she uses over at Silver Screen Serenade… here goes…

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I’ll always love Mr Darcy

The good:

  • Colin Firth.  Just generally, Colin Firth.  He’ll always be Mr Darcy and for that I’ll always love him a little bit.
  • The styling.  Kingsman looks good, from the suits to the gadgets to the special effects.  It has a decent budget and it shows.
  • Micheal Caine.  Again, just generally.  He’s a national treasure.
  • Well choreographed action and fight scenes.
  • Good strong female character at the Kingsman boot camp, although I can’t recall her name.
  • Eggsy, the ‘promising street kid’ who I thought was supposed to be a teenager but it says on IMDB that he’s 26 (does that mean I’m old?  Like how they say you know you’re old when you think policemen look young?).
  • The star-studded supporting cast which had me saying things like “oh, that’s her of that programme” and “wasn’t he in Titanic?” and “oh, I love that guy”.

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The bad:

  • Poor Samuel L Jackson playing a charicature baddie (although to be fair most of these characters are charicatures to some extent).  He did his best, but something about this character just didn’t sit well with me.
  • The domestic violence sub-plot featuring Eggsy’s mum and her thuggish gang-leader boyfriend.  Nasty and unnecessary, serving no real purpose or benefit to the film or its plot.
  • SPOILER ALERT: the Swedish princess, having been imprisoned by the baddie, offers to have anal sex with our hero if he succeeds in saving the world.  I have so many issues with this, I’m not even sure I know where to start.
  • 1. She’s a woman.  I don’t know anyone who would offer up casual bum-sex with a stranger, whether he saved the world or not.  I certainly don’t think a princess would be so free with her affections.  I mean, why would that even cross her mind?  Surely, she’d be more likely to offer him some kind of medal or financial reward or something?  And why specifically up the bum?
  • 2. Furthermore, besides the obvious, why would Eggsy be so keen to take up the offer?  A few minutes earlier he was trying to ensure the safety of his mother and baby sister, but once a bit of up-the-bum action is on offer, he forgets all about them.
  • 3. Up until this point I’d quite enjoyed Kingsman, but the final shot of the princess’s bare arse waggling in the air made me feel like this film wasn’t meant for me.  It kind of felt like a massive ‘up yours’.  You know what, Kingsman?  Up yoursSPOILER ENDS  I know this is fiction, I know it’s not meant to be taken seriously, but I don’t think it’s good enough.  OK, you could argue that I’ve taken this too seriously, but it really left a bad taste in my mouth.
  • Way too long, at 129 minutes.
  • Not as clever as it thinks it is.
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Poor Sam does his best with the material

Overall, I think this is a pretty decent film but the domestic violence and the Swedish princess business really brought it down and left me feeling icky.

Score: 6/10

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23 responses to “Kingsman: The Secret Service

  1. Good write up, and it’s made me think about the things that bugged me about the film, I wasn’t keen on the whole Swedish Princess/ buttsex thing but I kind of took it to be a continuation of the calling out of Bond movies most common tropes by hyper-exaggerating the objectification/ sexualised nature of the women in many (most? all?) of the Bond films and books to the point of absurdity. The fact that she was a princess, e.g. one of the elite and the escalation of what she was willing to do for Eggsy etc., but it still didn’t sit well with me (not enough to dent the score I gave it) and I agree it ends the movie in an icky way (you have no idea how tempted I was to write ‘ends the movie on a bum note’ there).

    I was less irked by the storyline of Eggsy’s home life, although it was as subtle as punch in the face but it did, at least, show the effects of the villain’s globally implemented plan on ‘ordinary’ people, something the Bond films themselves rarely do.

    The other thing that bothered me is that despite winning the job and being the best candidate by Kingsman’s own bootcamp standards, Roxy is never portrayed as competent and confident, especially in the finale where much tension is wrung out of the fact she can’t simply do the job quickly and efficiently. No matter what she’s achieved, she’s relegated to secondary status.

    I only saw it the once when it came out and I’ll be buying it on BluRay but I wonder how much I’ll enjoy it the second time around rather than in the first popcorn-fuelled rush of endorphines.

    • Hey, thanks for for stopping by and taking the time to make such a well reasoned argument. There was plenty about this film I enjoyed at the time but once it finished I just couldn’t shake that icky feeling.

      I hope you enjoy your re-watch!

  2. Dear fn,

    This is the greatest post about Kinsgman that devolved into cases against bum-sex that I’ve ever read!!! GREAT!!

    Yours,

    ei

  3. Great review, Laura. I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit but felt the same as you about that stupid anal sex joke. I mean, really? THAT’S how they chose to end the movie??? Such a shame as I was enjoying the movie until that point. But I do get that the joke is kind of taking the piss out of the Bond films & how they treat women. I guess…

  4. Why would she offer anal sex?!! Why not just regular sex or an ‘old fashioned’? Is this a comedy movie?

    I enjoyed your write up Laura 🙂 I’ve heard of this film but never really knew what it’s about. I’m going to look up more!

    #mrdarcy

  5. P.S I still remember the first time I felt “old”. I was waiting for a couple of my friends outside Nandos and these boys came skidding by on bicycles. One of them (referring to me) said “watch out, there’s a lady standing here” – I was impressed by his manners but hurt I was no longer considered a “girl” !

  6. I had a lot of fun with this movie but I really did not need that final joke. It was just grim.

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