Skip to main content

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" Was Way Tamer Than I Expected

Kingsman: The Secret Service is the latest victim in the ongoing game of "Build Expectations and Get Disappointed."  It's not that it didn't live up to hype the way most participants in that game do (or don't, rather) - it's just that it's not nearly as over-the-top as I expected.

I'd heard Kingsman described as outrageous and ridiculous.  I'd heard it described as a movie without a filter.  As a movie that goes to extremes.  That every idea it has is taken past the point of good taste, and then even farther.

Wow, it was oversold.

Kingsman has exactly three scenes that can be roughly described as "over the top," and only one of them (the church fight/massacre) actually is.  Of the other two, one is a cleaned-up version of an over-the-top idea (the part where exploding heads are replaced by confetti bursts) and the other is a poorly-told joke with some unearned nudity that just made me feel really sad for the actress in question (the ass-fucking at the end).

As a result, this is the first movie I've ever seen where I was disappointed that it wasn't more grotesque and sleazy.  I was on board for "Stephen Chow spy farce meets Takashi Miike blood and tits," and what I got instead was "Marvel meets R-rated James Bond."  Not that that's a bad thing.  I liked it overall.

But... where's all the really nutso stuff?  Where's the ray guns that make people's hands shrivel and snap off into gross crusty green flecks, or chemical agents that give the bad guys explosive diarrhea, or maybe the scene where the hero takes a rifle and rams it up somebody's ass, then shoots through their open mouth so that it looks like they're coughing up a bullet which then hits a different bad guy?

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not itching to see any of that.  It's just that I was told there would be relentless depravity and it turned out I didn't even need a shower afterward.

I should stop getting movie recommendations from my pastor.

All the Other Nonsense That Got Pushed Off the Main Page (Post Archive)

Show more