Kingsman Director Defends Controversial Ending Joke
Be warned, there will be SPOILERS below for Kingsman: The Secret Service if you haven't yet seen it in theaters, so read on at your own risk. The adaptation of Mark Millar's comic more than held its own against the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, taking second place with a healthy $35.6 million, along with high praise from the nation's critics. There is one point of contention among several fans, a sexual joke at the very end of the movie, that hasn't been received nearly as well as the movie itself. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Matthew Vaughn addressed these criticisms and defended the scene. This is your last chance to avoid spoilers, so don't read any further if you haven't seen Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Towards the very end of the film, young Eggsy (Taron Egerton) approaches Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström), who is one of the several VIP's locked up by the nefarious Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). She promises Eggsy that if he does, in fact, save the world, she will give him "much more than a kiss," promising him anal sex. Of course, when the day is saved, Eggsy does in fact go back to Hanna in a vulgar yet humorous scene. Matthew Vaughn revealed that this was his version of a James Bond scene, where 007 typically ends many of his adventures in bed with a new woman, along with plenty of sexual innuendo.
"If you've noticed, this is my Spinal Tap of trying to find 11 with every scene. What happened there was I studied all the old movies, especially the Bond ones. At the end of Moonraker, he's floating around in space on Dr. Goodhead, and they say, "Bond is attempting reentry." In The Spy Who Loved Me, he says he's "keeping the British end up." The innuendo is pretty strong and always comes from the men. I just thought it would be great to turn it on its head by having the woman say it. I actually think it's empowering. Some bloody feminists are accusing me of being a misogynist. 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."
The director added that they edited the scene a few different ways, without the sex joke, but "it didn't feel as brave as the rest of the movie is." He also said people have already started coming up to him saying they loved the movie, but not joke at the end. Here's what the filmmaker said when asked what the alternate version of that scene was.
"What you do is you say, 'If you save the world, I'll give you more than a kiss.' That's it. Then he goes back for it and shuts the door. That's it. Then you go, 'Yeah, that's okay.' For the 20 percent who were offended by it, there are 80 percent who are rolling around laughing so hard. Those 20 percent of people just need to lighten up a little bit. It's about pushing boundaries and having a bit of fun. It's not meant to be offensive, and it's definitely not misogynist or any attack on women. That's for sure."
We reported earlier this week that Kingsman 2 is moving forwards, and that Matthew Vaughn is working on ideas that would bring back Colin Firth, whose character Harry Hart was killed in Kingsman: The Secret Service. What do you think about this controversial sex joke? Do you think it's too much? Or should people "lighten up" as the filmmaker suggested? Chime in with your thoughts below.