Kingsman: The Secret Service
Toward the end of Kingsman: The Secret Service, a captive princess tells Jack Bauer wannabe, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), that if he saves the world he can fuck her in the ass. If she'd put it that bluntly, it would have been subversive and hilarious. Instead, she says with a giggle something like, "We can do in asshole, yes?" which is director Matthew Vaughn trying to shock but losing his nerve and softening what could have been a truly outlandish quote for the ages with some unnecessary, self-conscious humor.
I mean, if Rowdy Herrington had pussed out the same way with Road House, Marshall Teague's Jimmy would have paused mid-fight with Patrick Swayze's Dalton and said some weak ass shit like, "I'm gonna fuck you up!" instead of growling one of the most beautifully gratuitous and forever memorable bits of dialogue in all of cinematic history, "I used to fuck guys like you in prison!"
You can't have your layer cake and eat it, too, Vaughn. You wanker. And trying to is what fucks Kingsman right in its ass.
On the one hand, it wants to be a straight up action flick with a knowing wink in the Connery Bond vein. Call it The Bourne Imitation. That's the movie Colin Firth and Mark Strong seem to think they're in, and a showy, post-Tarantino massacre at a Westboro Baptist-type church set to "Freebird" seems to confirm it.
But then Kingsman pulls its punches the other half of the time and becomes a cheesy, cartoony, borderline parody like a Moore Bond romp. Samuel L. Jackson's villain, Valentine, for instance, with his Mike Tyson lisp and pathological aversion to violence - even as he plans a massive mass murder - feels like he's in Austin Powers 4: From Hollywood with Scorn.
The one thing Kingsman does well, better even than Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and the rest of the tabloid TV muck-suckers, is showing just how bizarrely fucked up the average person's worldview is. After watching - and occasionally laughing at - dozens of graphically brutal murders, the only time the audience gasped in horror was when Eggsy was told that if he wanted to be a Kingsman he'd have to shoot his dog.
Apparently, to the average moviegoer, a dog's life matters far more than a human's.
You know, maybe Valentine's plan isn't so bad after all? The world could certainly do with fewer fuckwits.
February 15, 2015