I’m not a movie critic. If you want to know if Kingsman is shot, choreographed, and acted well, I’ve got nothing to say other than, I think so. Yeah, my layman’s opinion is that it’s a pretty good movie, and I like it. But it left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think it’s because it was afraid to offend me.
I went into Kingsman expecting another stupid action movie with smart accents. While it did turn out to be a bit more than that, it was less than what it could have been. Halfway through the film there is one scene, which terrified me to my core, and for a moment I thought it was going to follow through.
I’m fairly liberal, or progressive, or left-wing, or whatever the word is now. Or perhaps egalitarian is the word here. So when, halfway through the movie, a scene starts with a preacher condemning blacks, gays, Jews and other religions, atheist, and generally “sinners”, I got a little wound-up.
The scene takes place in a church in fundamentalist America, and as the preacher speaks and condemns these groups, the church going onlookers cheer him on with their nods of approval. The whole thing is, I hope, a caricature of the most regressive elements of modern Christianity.
I remember, as I watched this scene for the first time, thinking, “These people should just die.” Well, spoiler warning…
In an over-the-top display of ridiculous movie violence, every single person in that church is killed horrifically. And later on, the movie proves that it knows how to killed hundreds of people but make it light-hearted and hilarious. But this scene, while not exactly out of place in an action movie, comes off as mostly serious, and is caused by the film’s antagonist.
I felt like a monster right then. Like, that was exactly what I wished for, and then it happened. It wasn’t cathartic. It was eye-opening. It disturbed me to my core. And for a brief time, I thought the movie was gonna go with that. Make the villain a personification for my own hatred of intolerance and bigotry. And it would have been damn affective and powerful too. But then it didn’t.
Turns out the villain wasn’t a fellow liberal who was carrying out my fantasy, he was just an elitist madman. Made for a pretty damn boring villain in the end too. It’s a shame.
Why didn’t the movie go through with it? Maybe it was never their plan to begin with, but they had to see the potential there. I’ve always thought movies were supposed to be an art form, and make us feel something other than just being entertained. While Kingsman certainly made me feel something for a brief moment, it either did so by accident, or got cold feet and chickened out at the last second.
Don’t Lose Your Way