The film franchise is perfect for those who miss the wit and eccentricity of old 007 movies.
There’s a thrilling sequence in Matthew Vaughn’s latest secret agent caper, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, set in the inevitable Alpine mountaintop retreat. So many familiar ingredients are there — cable car, Eagles Nest-style lair, machine-gun-toting heavies in snowsuits, etc — that you could almost be watching the next Daniel Craig Bond movie. Except you know you’re not because of one key detail: you’re wearing a big, stupid grin.
All right, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on the recent James Bond movies. But I think we can agree that they are somewhat lacking the jauntiness of the Sean Connery/Roger Moore eras. Sure, Craig is great at looking moody, tortured and buff, and Sam Mendes’s direction has given the last two a depth and arthouse sheen far beyond anything Ian Fleming wrote. Where, though, is the wit, the cheek, the eccentricity that made those early Bonds so much fun?
I totally love and adore Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Here are some reasons why – despite its miserly, sub-60 percent ratings thus far on Rotten Tomatoes – I think you will too.
The Swearing. Every second word is an expletive – as befits a director, Matthew Vaughn, who introduced his two producers at the London premiere this week as “Bad Cop and C*** Cop”. Possibly all that cussing may be a bit rich for some American ears but here’s the thing: no Hollywood studio would ever have passed this script, just as they would never have passed the Kick-Ass script in which the same language is used, only by an 11-year old girl who chops people in half with Samurai swords, like never happens ever in Hollywood movies, which is why Kick-Ass was so cool.
The Casting. No one in this movie was cast because they needed a person of color or a “strong female character.” Halle Berry is quite obviously there because they wanted Halle Berry, not because they wanted to tick a few race and gender boxes. (Ditto Samuel L Jackson in the first Kingsman, who was there, quite obviously because the part needed to be played by Samuel L Jackson, not A.N. Random Black Person).