Kingsman: The Secret Service — the 2015 movie that featured Colin Firth and Taron Egerton as mentor and trainee in a secret British spy organization that relied heavily on bespoke suits and over-the-top violence — was a reasonably divisive movie. It was no mother!, but it definitely had its partisans and its detractors. Director Matthew Vaughn had to be used to that, since the last time he created a world where heroes who were very concerned about their clothes engaged in ultra-violence, it was 2010’s also-divisive Kick-Ass. But while the cartoonish violence, overly slick packaging, and the decision to have Samuel L. Jackson play the villain character like a riff on Russell Simmons are the elements most often cited by Kingsman detractors, there is one moment that draws the hottest ire: the stupid, nonsensical, probably-offensive-but-that’s-not-even-the-point scene at the very end where Eggsy (our newly minted hero, played by Egerton) has sex up the bum with the Swedish princess, who had promised said bum to him as his reward for saving the day.
It’s crass. It’s stupid. It makes the hero look like a womanizing dickwad when up until this point he was a rough-around-the-edges decent bloke. And it makes a mockery of any other well-drawn female characters in the rest of the movie, because in the end, women are there for fucking. And in the least comfortable manner possible!
Isolated from the rest of the movie, the scene almost works, because Egerton is just that charming. But coming at the tail end (no pun intended) of a movie that bludgeoned its audience with violence that it tried to pass off as artful but which was honestly just excessive, the cheekiness (again, no pun intended, honestly) of the moment comes across as swaggering rather than subversive. What’s allegedly being subverted in this moment is the James Bondian womanizing that runs through all those British secret-agent type movies. The suave hero taking the virginal princess as his just reward. Making it anal sex is supposed to up the absurdity of the moment enough to make it satire. A commentary on the shit we used to let heroes get away with.
i didn’t think that was all that bad… hell, never really thought about it and until just now to be honest… figures that there are people that would be somehow offended or something… but c’mon man, it’s a movie!
btw, did anybody go see the new one this past weekend?