Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Review of "Kingsman: The Secret Service"

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Score: 8/10 (I wrote this back when I was fonder of giving numerical scores)
The movie's advertising was not very good and almost stopped me from watching it.
This was the first great movie I saw in 2015.  A well-paced action movie with lots of humor and some underlying themes that gave it some impact.  It was colorful and took itself as seriously as it needed to, and with only a few hiccups here and there that kept it from being a classic.
I feel that this movie was a true shot in the arm for the spy genre and provided another example of how Rated-R movies are financially viable when not released against a cluttered field. (This was a rather soft R in my opinion, no nudity, very little blood, it could have gone a lot further.)
Let me talk about one issue that stood out for me that I imagine most people would not have even noticed, the dog scene.  There will be spoilers for this, and since I am recommending the movie to anyone who likes rougher action comedies, stop reading here and go see the movie, that way I can complain about a minor point without you having it niggle at you while watching.

The tone can be a bit all over the place.
They really needed to settle on a level of nudity and lewdness and stick to it thru the movie.
Having an anal sex joke to punctuate the movie is a bit strange.
 SPOILERS: during the movie there is a sizable training portion to locate a new agent for the Kingsman and the recruits are required to pick a dog to raise… and you know where this is going, a classic “kill the puppy” part of the training.  Here is the issue, the test does not make sense in the context of the movie and the character traits they are looking for.  And for that matter the idea of secret agents at all.
Our hero, Eggsy is told to murder his pet with a provided firearm and chooses not to do so, it is then revealed that the gun was loaded with blanks, the test was to see if Eggsy could follow orders.  They tell Eggsy that the Kingsman never take a life without reason… But Eggsy did not know that.  The test should be whether a recruit would refuse a bad order given to them, “take a life without reason”, and the blanks would be to avoid killing the dog should the recruit follow the order which would be taking the wrong position.
The obvious right answer is, "No, I will not kill an innocent animal for no reason.
Want to know why that bothers me so much?  Because I went to a police academy and during one training exercise we are told to shoot a cut out of a person, that person is holding a coke can and is no threat.  I and 1 other person, out of a 20+ class were the only people to not shoot the harmless civilian.  YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHOOT.
What is more the movie proving that to be the correct response, Eggsy does not follow bad orders and that allows him to thwart the bad guys.  So the test is shit.  I would mind less, but it is a plot fulcrum, there is no reason this backwards way of thinking should still be in the movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment