Yo pretty ladies around the world, got a weird thing to show you… Kingsman 2 is creepy and bad

The heroes need to track a villain’s girlfriend.  They need to plant a tracking device in her bloodstream.  It turns out the only way to get the tracking device into the girlfriend’s bloodstream is to put the trackers inside her vagina.  The audience guffaws.  Which of the heroes is going to have to stick their finger down her pants?!  How incredibly funny!  Somebody has to sexually assault the woman to get the tracking device into her blood!  Ha ha!  It’s funny.

But it did make me wonder why this device would be necessary.  What if the target had been male?  How would they have tracked him?  Are they only able to track women?  If they are able to track men, how do they get the device all the way up the urethra?  Or do they have an alternative method of getting the tracking device into their bloodstream?  If so, why didn’t they use that method on the villain’s girlfriend?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a bad film.  The only good parts are Elton John shouting ‘Fuck’ at people (‘Fuck you!  Fuck off!  Fuck this!  … the fuck?’)  I could watch those bits on loop for two hours and it would be a more satisfying movie that the rest of this train wreck of a movie.

It perhaps did not help that I went back and rewatched all the films that Matthew Vaughn had written, directed, and produced over his career.  Oh, and I watched Kick-Ass 2 by accident (I thought he had done the trifecta on that as well).

But his films follow a theme.  In Stardust, he adapted a Neil Gaiman novel that was about a boy who overcame his background to treat women like garbage (even leading one around by a chain…).  In Kick-Ass, he adapted a Mark Millar comic that was about a boy who overcame his background and tricked a woman into liking him.  And then Kingsman: The Secret Service, he adapted another Mark Millar comic about a boy who overcame his background and occasionally there was a woman involved.

If anything typifies a Matthew Vaughn movie, it’s the garbage treatment of women.  They also age really badly as well.  Stardust is practically unwatchable and it’s only ten years old (it feels like a bad 1980s flick).  His films feel like they are trying to be edgy in how far they will push violence.  Kick-Ass had most of its marketing strategy around the idea of ‘hyperviolence’ and Kingsman choreographed the fight scenes in a way that captured the ‘comic book’ feel.  But American film producers are always going to fail in the violence stakes when Takashi Miike lives in this world.

By Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the trope is well and truly dead.  Nobody cares.  It’s not cute and it’s not edgy.  It’s just a dull sausage-fest.

In Kingsman: The Secret Service, the villain of the piece was an environmentalist played by Samuel L Jackson.  The eco-terrorist techno-saviour bit was interesting, at least, and provided a useful dynamic for the movie.  The villain was simply a good guy who was going ‘too far’: time for conservative traditions and values to regulate the centrist grounds.

While that might fly back in 2015, in 2017 centrists are wrecking the place.  The politics of the film aged badly.

So it’s weird that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is so tone-deaf as to play in roughly the same area.  This time, a drug lord wants the legalisation of all drugs.  But this time it’s for purposes of profit and not for world safety.  And the drug lord does this by poisoning all of her customers…?

The basic mechanics of the film makes no sense.  It’s not fun.  And given that the good guys were willing to rape a girl to stop the drug lord, I don’t really care if everybody dies.

Except Elton John who is freaking amazing in this film.

The soundtrack is fantastic.  Get it into your ears.  Especially this Country and Western cover of ‘Word Up’ by a German band.

Why does a chair lift have a spin function?  If there was an American group of super spies analogous to the Kingsmen, why didn’t they help out in the first movie?  Why did the American spy group heal Mr Darcy but then keep him hostage?  What answer could the protagonists have given Magic Mike in order to stop him from setting fire to their penises?  Does Jeff Bridges hate cinema for some reason?

It’s a mess.  Skip it.

Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based PhD student, writer, and policy wonk who writes about law, conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

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