I saw Kingsman at an advanced screening in Toronto earlier this month, THAT I PAID TO GET INTO UNLIKE SOME BOUGHT-AND-SOLD-WHORES ON OTHER WEBSITES THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED, and since this is my first preview-review I shall be relatively spoiler free lest I ruin the experience for the rest of you while I’d usually tell you to eat me and shove spoilers down your throats like the filthy whores you are because you know you love it!
James Bond celebrated his cinematic 50th anniversary in 2012 with Skyfall while Ian Fleming’s creation set the standards for both literature and cinemas representation of the spy-espionage genre ever since. Sure, John le Carré became famous for writing a more realistic depiction of what actual government intelligence work is really like, but that shit is boring, like fucking your wife in the missionary position for 50 years when you could have occasionally drilled her ass, reverse cowgirl, 69 etc…..
As I’ve said many times, Bond is a Playboy Magazine fantasy come to life; Globetrotting to glamourous locations around the world while banging top beaver and killing motherfuckers with impunity all on the tax payers dime. It reminds me of when I tried to join the army back in high school and told the recruiter that I have no qualms about killing Canada’s enemies or fucking whores as I would enjoy it. Strangely they didn’t call me back?!? Probably because my penis was too big and it would have set off a trip wire!!!
Anywho, Bond has been going on for soo long that he’s experienced several reboots over the years with actors who run the gamut from playful masculinity (Connery, Brosnan) to clownish buffoonery (Moore) to the grim brutality of such wet work and the morbidity of the soul (Dalton, Craig). Lazenby was a fucking twat.
Every variation of Bond has been done while the character and his exploits have become a genre unto itself with thousands of rip-offs, homages and parodies.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is the latest film to tip its fedora towards Bond while acting as a meta deconstructionist take on the spy film. Based upon the graphic novel by Mark Millar (Kick Ass, Wanted), Kingsman is a collage of elements from not only Bond but also other influences such as the Harry Palmer series (whose star Michael Caine appears here), The Avengers 60’s TV show and even a touch of Men In Black.
Director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Layer Cake) and screenwriter Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kick Ass and whose tits I worship as if they were the face of Ceiling Cat Almighty!!!) make reference to several examples of the “old sage recruits young rough” and even name drops Trading Places, Pretty Woman and My Fair Lady in this tale of a council estate chav (“white trash” for those in North America) nicknamed Eggsy (Taron Egerton) whose life has been on a downward slope since his father died in the service of the Kingsmen. He’s pulled out of trouble by Harry Hart (Colin Firth) who convinces him to join his organization and make a better life for not only himself but also his Mother, whose life has also crashed and is involved with an abusive local hood, and baby sister.
But trouble is afoot as the prerequisite villain of this piece launches his evil scheme. Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson, reminding us how fun he can be) is a blinged-out self-made multi-billionaire computer-tech-head with a slight lisp, an aversion to blood and a plan that the Kingsmen must stop. In true Bondian style his bodyguard/muscle is Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) who has no legs from the knee’s down and instead struts around on gleaming razor sharp chrome artificial limbs that will make the BDSM crowd cream their leather jockstraps. Think Oscar Pistorius but more slicey/stabby and with breasts and a vagina. You might remember Pistorius was the Paralympic champion who was arrested in the death of his girlfriend, who he shot through a bathroom door, and recently convicted because the court found that his defense didn’t have a leg to stand on.
Eggsy is initiated into training and while dealing with the mental/physical rigors of the program he also has to put up with class slander from some of the elitist upper class private school douchebags who rile him for his lower economic upbringing. He befriends one of the girls in the group, Roxy (Sophie Cookson), and a tiny little pug as each of the Kingsman wannabes is tasked (by Kick-Ass alumni Mark Strong as their drill instructor) with caring for a dog which, as a part of their final test, each member will have to be recorded having sex with as the Kingsman’s way of keeping people quiet about their organization. Just kidding. Or am I………
As a movie, Kingsman is classically structured. Meta deconstructionist films like this are ones that settle between seriousness and parody. Not quite Goldeneye nor Austin Powers, think Last Action Hero or Scream. The characters are aware of the type of story they’re in and use ironic detachment to try to elevate the material while also wallowing in the genre’s conventions. I’m not normally a fan of this type of movie and, to be honest, I usually prefer either a straight un-ironic genre flick or a parody because most Meta-D films aren’t as smart as they like to think and have a tendency to go up their own ass. Case in point, Edgar Wright, who I will forever love for Spaced Series One but who has failed, where Kingsman succeeds, because he’s always too busy trying to look clever instead of just giving an audience a good time while his pet theme of regressive idiot man children is as old and tired as the Wachowski’s fixation on ONE PERSON AGAINST THE SYSTEM posturing.
But the thing that saves Kingsman and makes it worthy in the cannon of Bond tributes is the films plunge into rank debauchery and ultra-violence. I’ve been complaining forever that Bond’s biggest problem has been its refusal to take advantage of the characters world and deliver graphic violence and soft-core pornographic sex. I dream of a reality where I rule the universe and can fuck any woman I want Russ Meyer, Jess Franco and Paul Verhoeven made Bond movies while their Producers have made a point of avoiding recruiting the best and brightest Directors to work for them because they’re cheap cocksuckers. Bond is the PERFECT franchise where each movie can be its own universe, so why not let a Director bring their own flavor to it? Fucking morons.
Matthew Vaughn is a huge Bond fan and, to be honest, his talents would be wasted being constricted to a PG-13 rating although he did a splendid job with X-Men: First Class. And while I’m normally resistant to Meta-D movies, Kingsman is injected with such verve and panache that its energy gives it tremendous momentum. It’s FUN, FUN, FUN! Remember “fun”? That thing Christopher Nolan took outside and shot in the back of the fucking head before pissing in its gaping mouth and defiling its corpse?
Kingsman even makes a point to mention just how fucking dull and goddamn turgid spy movies have become; where Bond is now a Cro-Magnon geriatric thug with a limp cock who goes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings when not trying/failing to save his granny (Skyfall). The only gadget in his arsenal these days is Valtrex a fucking gun that only he can use through fingerprint recognition, probably so that the British government can record the cost of how many fucking bullets he uses to save Queen and Country before stuffing it into his mouth and pulling the fucking trigger over how fucking miserable being a cinematic spy is today. I have little doubt that the next Sam Mendes Bond movie will be entirely set in traffic during a rainy day while Bond does his fucking taxes and listens to Kenny G.
My favorite part of Kingsman is the villain and his plan. Having Jackson play against type is an awesome piece of casting, as is seeing fellow Jedi Mark Hamill make an appearance, and I loved every minute he was on screen. But the great thing about Valentine is that, unlike most villains who just want to rule the world, he has that which makes him a true threat and a great antagonist; a philosophy. He doesn’t see himself as a bad guy, just someone who wants to make the world a better place and is willing to kill billions to do it. It reminds me why I have “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” tattooed on the shaft of my cock.
This gives him strong motivation and reminds me why Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows failed. I mention that movie because both SH 1& 2 were Directed by Guy Richie whose first two films (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels/Snatch) were Produced by Vaughn back in the old days when they were just Tarantino rip-off artists and before Richie became famous for dumping his genetic load into Madonna’s well-worn gash that’s seen more mileage than the German autobahn.
In Game of Shadows, Sherlock meets his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty who wants to start a world war to enrich himself and gain power. Fucking YAWN! Starting a war is something any dickhead can do. Just pit two countries against each other BLAH BLAH BLAH! Where was the insane genius of one of literatures greatest villains? Even Nolan had the brains to give the Joker a purpose beyond simple crime or anarchy. He wanted to lay waste to civilizations hypocrisy and make people admit that they’re no better than animals despite the virtues they extoll and how anyone can succumb to their base instincts after a bad day. And he had a point.
Moriarty is a brilliant person and what does someone with an advanced intellect do when stuck in late 19th century Britain and surrounded by fear based upon superstition, anti-intellectualism and primitive technology/science/medicine? A great idea would have been for him to desire war, not for simple monetary gain, but because he believes that a global conflict would spark a new industrial/scientific/medical revolution and the end results would be a world sickened by warfare thus bringing about a new age of peace. Of course this is the folly of those who believe they can change human nature since most people who lived through WWI probably didn’t think people would be stupid enough to engage in another world-wide battle for supremacy let alone develop the technology to bring about mutually assured destruction through atomic weaponry. But most people are stupid assholes.
Valentine wants to return the Earth to ecological balance and you actually understand where they guy is coming from although his methods may be suspect. Unfortunately this will get a lot of people killed which is where Kingsman picks up at the end of its second act and when the movie flirts with greatness. I say flirts with because up until the films highly (rightfully) touted “Church scene” through to the finale, the story itself is rather rote and, to be honest, feels a bit claustrophobic due to its sets, which feel small, and the digital environments, meant to add scale, which are obvious and makes you yearn for the exotic locales of the Bond movies which used to be the best in geography porn.
But the interplay between the actors is wonderful and Vaughn’s commitment to ramping up the insanity brings about one of the best climaxes I’ve seen in a long time. To bitch about the movies faults would be rather anal as it’s a really good time and well worth your money butt my one reservation is that it doesn’t quite plumb the depths of sleaze and depravity and lacks any nudity until the very END!!!FACT!!!
Oh and FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!FACT!!!