I went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service the other night and it was absolutely brilliant. An underrated film, it seems to be going great guns at the box office despite it getting little-to-no ad airplay on commercial TV thanks to Fifty Shades. It stars Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cain and is nothing short of amazing and very, very funny. But there is one scene that has everyone talking….so was it misogynistic? Or was it just tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended)?
Warning: spoilers and adult themes ahead! Do not read further if you haven’t seen Kingsman.
In the final scenes of the movie, Princess Tilde of Sweden is locked in a holding cell, waiting for release. Eggsy, the main character (played by Taron Egerton), is trying to save the world and stops to make sure she’s alright and cheekily asks for a kiss. Before he runs off, she motivates him by saying, “If you save the world we can do it in the a**hole!”. Some critics have been saying it is in poor taste to have added in a tasteless anal sex joke, but that wasn’t where it ended. Once he saves the world, the final scene is of Princess Tilde’s bare naked bottom and a knowing look on Eggsy’s face.
Director Matthew Vaughn has responded to the criticism and was clearly a bit peeved at the negative attention: “Some bloody feminists are accusing me of being a misogynist”, he told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m like, ‘It couldn’t be further from the truth’. It’s a celebration of women and the woman being empowered in a weird way in my mind, which will cause a big argument again I’m sure. It’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek and crazy”.
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But is that enough to justify it? Spy film buffs will notice the nods to Bond films throughout Kingsman, where they end in a typically risque fashion, i.e. at the end of Moonraker where Bond is floating around in space on Dr. Goodhead, and they say, “Bond is attempting reentry” or In The Spy Who Loved Me, he says he’s “keeping the British end up”.
According to The Film Experience blog, “By the time the film ends with a bizarrely gratuitous anal sex joke that plays like the filmmakers remembered at the last minute that they meant to include something grossly sexist, the desperation of Kingsman’s button-pushing is painfully clear”. And that wasn’t even one of the harshest reviews. But it is interesting to note that some were focusing on the fact that there was a light-hearted hint of consensual sex rather than the preceding scene where Colin Firth kills no more than 80 people in a church.
Vaughn was also dumbfounded at how many people were focusing on the anal sex joke instead of the violence. He told Entertainment Weekly, “I was surprised when people are saying to me, “I loved the movie. I think it’s great, but I was offended by that”. I said, “Really? That’s more offensive than exploding heads, massacres in church, swearing, people being cut in half?” I was like, come on. It’s just a joke. It’s not even graphic”. Do you agree?
The director even went a different, less misogynistic route to the spy movies of the past, whose movies rely on a ‘hot’ Bond girl to hold weapons and look attractive. Kingsman didn’t have a female sidekick, but it did have an attractive girl who was just as useful, if not more useful than the other characters. She was not objectified in any way and was not a part of a love scene, despite her good looks.
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So, we want to know your verdict on Kingsman. Was the anal sex joke a bummer or was it funny? Tell us below.