Art

How did the franchise go astray?

The king’s manthe latest entry in the king man franchise, debuted to tepid reviews and barely managed to recoup its $100 million budget. While other factors — including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delaying their release and leading to a decline in viewership for adult fares — may have shaped this reception, one thing is clear: the king man Franchise has steadily lost its luster. It’s a shame because the first film in the series Kingsman: The Secret Serviceshowed the potential for a spy franchise that could have competed James Bond, Impossible Missionand Jason Bourne.

Based on the Icon Comics series The Secret Service through Mark Miller and David Gibbons, The Secret Service reveals that Kingsman is an independent spy agency established after World War I, with a tailor shop as its facade and agents drawing their codenames from Arthurian myth. Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) will thanks to Harry Hart / Agent Galahad (Colin Firth). Hart was saved as a young agent by Eggsy’s father. Hart introduces Eggsy to the Kingsman agency as the young man learns to become a secret agent and stop Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) from committing controlled global genocide.

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Kingsman - The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service earned a reputation for both celebrating and subverting the tropes in spy movies and the dizzying action sequences. The film’s standout sequence has to be the scene where Hart fights a church full of white supremacists driven into a deadly rage by Valentine’s technology. Vaughn, with the help of editors Edie Hamilton and JonHarris, manages to make the sequence feel like a seamless single take packed to the brim with inventive kills. And the ensemble cast is full of talent; Egerton and Firth have a wonderful relationship, it’s always funny to see Michael Cain and Markus Hamill in supporting roles, and the film served as a star shoot for Sofia Butella.

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The Secret Service proved to be a critical and commercial success, grossing over $400 million during its theatrical run. Of course, 20th Century Fox gave the green light for a sequel in 2015 and two years later Kingsman: The Golden Circle premiered in cinemas. It includes a new enemy in the form of Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), who runs the title “Golden Circle”, a worldwide drug cartel. When the Golden Circle decimates the Kingsman organization, Eggsy and Kingsman Quartermaster Merlin (Mark heavily) travel to Kingsman’s American counterpart Statesman and team up with Statesman agent Tequila (Pedro Pascal) and learn that Hart survived being shot in the head by Valentine.

The problems with The Golden Circle Start with the return of Firth. While Firth is a great actor, his return to Hart undermines Eggsy’s character journey from the first film. The Secret Service was a coming-of-age story on top of a spy caper as Eggsy learned to be his own man while working with Kingsman and losing Hart was an integral part of that journey; Bringing Hart back served only as a desperate attempt to recapture the chemistry Firth and Egerton had in the first film. It is similar to men in black Sequels that kept trying to restore Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones’ relationship.



Kingsman - The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle also features an ensemble cast that can keep up The Secret Servicebut don’t know how to use it properly. Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges Essentially, make glorified cameos as Statesman agent whiskey and his boss champagne, respectively; The same applies Hall Berry as a tech specialist ginger ale. The film also decides to take Eggsy’s girlfriend Roxy (Sophie Kochson), who assumed the mantle of Kingsman agent Galahad. It doesn’t look good when your female characters are either marginalized or killed off, and I think Vaughn missed an opportunity to build on Eggsy and Roxy’s friendship. That says nothing about the completely deranged appearance of aus Elton-John. Yes, Elton John was in that movie.

The film also tries to top its predecessor in terms of violence, with Vaughn’s signature being reduced to shootouts and car chases. And the screenplay by Vaughn and Jane Goldman decides to throw plot twist after plot twist to the audience. Poppy is trying to blackmail the President of the United States, but he’s willing to let millions die to end the drug war and put them out of business. When Poppy is killed after a literal taste of her own medicine, Tequila attacks Hart and Eggsy, revealing that she wants all drug users to die because his pregnant wife is killed by two drug users. However, that motivation is tempered by the fact that he also wants to profit from selling Statesman whiskey, as people will turn to alcohol after drugs are eliminated. Apparently he forgot that alcohol is a kind of drug and can also lead to addiction.



The Kingsman

Despite its issues and more mixed reviews, The Golden Circle was also a box office hit. This led to the development of The king’s man, which serves as the origin story of the Kingsman franchise; Orlando Oxford (Ralph Finn), along with his butler Shola (Djimon Honsou) and maid Polly (Gemma Arterton) are trying to stop a mysterious cabal from starting World War I. Meanwhile, Oxford struggles with raising his son Conrad (Harris Dickerson), who wants to join the war, contradicts the promise Oxford made to his dying wife.

The main problem with The king’s man is its aural confusion; On the one hand, it’s a gritty war epic that tries to show the gravity of World War I and also critiques the use of force to solve problems (which…is an interesting way of taking the series given its stylized action sequences); the next shows Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) licks Oxford’s gunshot wound and growls like a tiger while discussing his sexual conquests. The Secret Service was able to perfectly balance its more ridiculous elements with real heart. At some point along the way, Vaughn lost sight of that.


The Secret Cabal of Historical Figures, while a good concept, is absolutely ridiculous in execution. Characters like Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl) and Rasputin makes sense; others, like Mata Hari (Valerie Pacner) and Vladimir Lenin (August Diehl) are rather puzzling. The worst culprit is revealed mid-credits; Adolf Hitler (David cross), who is accepted into the cabal. Again, this film ends with Adolf Hitler being inducted into a secret society orchestrating major world events, an absolutely insane story choice that has some rather unsettling implications. Vaughn has said he would like to make a sequel to The king’s manbut he should stop and see what was done The Secret Service work before they return to this world. After all, manners make the man – or in this case, a good film.


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