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Anything but Gentlemen

I went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service last week. Big mistake.

The movie tells the story of “an unrefined but promising street kid” recruited by a private secret service agency composed of sophisticated British gentlemen. The movie has been called “a spy action comedy.”

Given those descriptions, I was expecting something like Men in Black, which had a similar storyline and promised a similar mix of action and humour. The recruitment and selection process was similar and interesting. And, in the end, the new recruit saves the world.

But the similarities end there. Kingsman never reaches the humour level of Men in Black, and the level of violence is excessive and unnecessary to say the least.

Even more disturbing, both the good guys and the bad guys in this movie come across as self-centred, judgemental, cruel, violent, foul-mouthed, and sexually licentious. For a movie supposedly about the battle between good and evil, there is a surprising lack of moral vision.

I know that in the real world there are people who drop the F word into every sentence, but I don’t find it entertaining to listen to them for two hours straight. I know that we live in a violent world, but even Islamic terrorists are not as indiscriminately violent as the people in this movie. The world depicted in Kingsman doesn’t deserve to be saved.


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