|About 0.0001% of the total epicness quotient of the film is contained in this picture|
I got back from Blighty yesterday afternoon, and I cannot even begin to relate how happy I am to be back. While the specifics of my trip back will have to wait for another day, coming back to the US after a long time away has simply affirmed my belief that this is, truly and without question, God’s own country.
But all of that is for another post. Today I simply want to make a movie recommendation. And it is a simple one.
If you have not yet seen the spy thriller/comedy/spoof/balls-out-insane work of genius that is “Kingsman”, then you are missing out on one of the finest films ever made.
Don’t take my word for it. This movie will, in the words of Molotov Mitchell, make your head spin… or explode:
And then take a look at what one of my outright favourite Brits, the estimable Mr. James Delingpole, has to say about it:
1. The baddie Valentine (Samuel L Jackson, who
appears to have based his lisping villain on his arch-enemy Spike Lee)
is an ardent greenie who – just like rather too many real-life greenies –
believes mankind is a virus which must be eradicated to save the
planet. Even more realistically the only people he thinks should be
exempt from this cull are celebrities. This is more or less exactly the
principle on which organisations like The Nature Conservancy and the
Sierra Club, and eco-evangelists like Al Gore, the Prince of Wales, Leo
DiCaprio and hedgefunder Tom Steyer operate: the superrich get to
continue flying in private jets and buy up wilderness land on special
terms and live in their waterside mansions; everyone else has to suffer
and – ideally – die in fuel poverty.
2. Besides being antipathetical towards enviro-loons
it is also suspicious of global power elites and governments genuinely.
Kingsman – the elite secret agency of the film’s title – was
established after the First World War by a club of millionaires
(principled ones, not Gore/Steyer types) in order to administrate global
justice unconstrained by the bureaucracy, statist bias or dubious
ethics of government-funded organisations.
3. It’s stupendously violent but in an oddly charming, tasteful, amusing way. Notably the exploding heads scene.
4. Implausibly, almost impossibly, it actually manages to rehabilitate Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing to such a degree that – rather as the final episode of The Sopranos did with Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ – you’re suddenly inclined to believe that it may, after all, be one of the greatest ever neglected classics.
5. Director Matthew Vaughn is English, was educated
at Stowe, and therefore understands England, the English, and the
nuances of the class system in a way that American directors almost
never do (though we’ll allow Robert Altman’s Gosford Park). In what is
essentially a James Bond pastiche this really matters because it means,
if you’re English, you don’t sit there grinding your teeth and tearing
your hair out at all the Dick-Van-Dyke Cockney bum notes there would
undoubtedly have been had an American got the gig. (Mortdecai, anyone?)
This film has almost everything you could possibly want from a spy movie, or a comedy, or an action flick. That it manages to deliver on all counts is an indication of just how good its cast, script, and director all are.
It portrays the characters with a deft touch; the heroes are decent men striving to maintain decent ideals in an indecent time, while the villains are exactly what you would expect a good villain to be- evil and megalomaniacal, yet strangely appealing in a dastardly sort of way.
It portrays the heroes as true gentlemen- dapper, quietly confident, dignified, utterly at ease with themselves and the world around them, able to appreciate the finest things in life, and yet unquestionably and terrifyingly competent in their chosen fields of specialisation when the occasion calls for it.
It is extremely violent- cartoonishly so, almost- and yet the violence, as bonkers and over-the-top as it is, is also very cleverly done. The utter insanity of that riot in the middle in the fundamentalist “Christian” church is a filmed sequence of jaw-dropping virtuosity; I remember sitting there in the theatre today with my mouth hanging open mentally asking how the hell they managed to film the scene so brilliantly.
It is incredibly funny. There’s a scene in it toward the end where- and there’s no delicate way to put this- people’s heads start exploding. Literally. To a magnificent classical music score. And while there is nothing particularly artistic about watching a head explode, this particular sequence makes the whole thing look like a series of fireworks, complete with clouds of coloured smoke.
Best of all- BARACK OBAMA’S HEAD GETS BLOWN UP. (Well, it’s never explicitly stated that it’s Obarmy, but it’s implied very strongly.)
What red-blooded, God-fearing, self-respecting man would NOT want to see that jug-eared oaf of a tinpot dictator get what he so thoroughly deserves on a big screen and hear it in the glory of full surround sound?
As good as all of this stuff is, though, this is all a side-show to the real reason why this is such a great movie.
This movie is brilliant because it delivers a hard dose of red-pill truths right between the eyes in a way that has to be seen to be believed.
No matter how you got into the Manosphere- whether through the political thinking of the neoreactionary crowd, the pussy-slaying PUA side, the self-improvement side, the free-market economics side, or the plain old rediscover-your-masculinity side- this movie has something for you.
There is even an utterly hysterical short set piece in the first third or so of the film involving stuff ripped right out of Neil Strauss’s The Game which virtually anyone familiar with PUA lingo is going to be in stitches when he sees it. That’s precisely what happened to me.
At its core, though, the film is about ancient values of honour, sacrifice, friendship, family, private enterprise, free thought and free action, virtue, manliness, and the qualities that make a man more than he is. These are all extremely positive messages that absolutely must be seen more in modern Hollywood films- and, sadly, almost certainly never will be because Hollywood these days resembles Sodom right before it was destroyed.
In this movie, you get to see a young man from a home destroyed first by tragedy and then by poor judgement, and turn his life around to become a gentleman, worthy of respect and honour, capable of saving those he cares about the most, and able and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to guide humanity without ever presuming to rule over it.
This is a movie that celebrates everything that is good and great about masculinity, and for that, it thoroughly deserves to be praised. So if you haven’t seen it- and I made the almost criminally stupid mistake of not going to see it while I was in Blighty- then get thy arse to the nearest movie theatre, pay to sit in a near-empty movie hall, and prepare for one hell of a brilliant, subversive, darkly hilarious, and balls-to-the-wall-bonkers movie.
Agreed – fantastic film. Soooooooooo much red pill.
I was particularly taken at how far Eggsy's mum had fallen after the death of her husband. Without the support of a virtuous man, she herself had been unable to maintain her own virtue. The film exploded NAWALT as blatantly as it it exploded heads.
And there were the most manly of dogs – pugs!