Kingsman: The Secret Service managed to hold its own last week against the juggernaut that is 50 Shades of Grey. Call it an abject lesson in the shrewdness of counter-programming, but the perfect antidote to the syrupy yet hardcore soap operatic romance of 50 Shades was a balls to the wall action/comedy thrill ride with lots of exploding and punching and shooting. Bravo. But in an odd new controversy, Kingsman’s co-screenwriter and director Matthew Vaughn is having to explain himself for the last gag at the film’s conclusion involving the – shall we say – servicing of a princess in an unconventional way. Obviously, spoilers are involved in the below story.
If you’ve seen Kingsman then you know about the film’s ending where our hero Eggsy (Taron Egerton) finds the imprisoned Danish Princess Tilde (played by Hanna Alström), but he has to go save the world rather than set her free. Eggsy promises to come back for her, and Princess Tilde promises that if he does then she will let him – uh – get personal with her from behind. (Anal sex. I’m talking about anal sex.) Apparently, this is a problem for some people who would rather rail against the gag than talk about how Eggsy had to, like, kill about 1,000 people in order to get there.
Vaughn addressed the “controversy” in a recent interview with EW. Here’s the exchange:
The joke at the end of the movie — where Princess Tilde rewards Eggsy with anal sex for saving her — has caused a stir in the preview screenings. What was the origin of the gag?
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.
Was there ever any question, either on your end or from the studio, of whether to include it?
There was a lot of debate about whether to put it in or out. We watched it without the line, and it just felt a bit flat. You just went, “Well, really?” It just didn’t feel as brave as the rest of the movie is. There’s not right or wrong about movies, but I was surprised when people are saying to me, “I loved the movie. I think it’s great, but I was offended by that.” I said, “Really? That’s more offensive than exploding heads, massacres in church, swearing, people being cut in half?” I was like, come on. It’s just a joke. It’s not even graphic.
How did the scene play out in the version without the joke?
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 percept 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.
It’s interesting that on the same week that 50 Shades of Grey opened with all its supposed unconventional and allegedly hot sex that some people would get up in arms about Kingsman’s joke about “going backdoor” which is mentioned, but never shown. The word you’re looking for is irony, because there’s nothing remotely misogynistic about a man wanting a woman to sign a legal contract to be his exclusive sexual play thing, right? But I digress.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is currently in theaters everywhere.
Source: Flickering Myth