Back in 2002, Vin Diesel re-teamed with his The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen to make xXx, a so-called spy-thriller meant to upset the stiff, upper-crusty world of James Bond with a down and dirty modern riff full of nihilists, tattooed bad boys and extreme sports freaks. Of course, Pierce Brosnan‘s final Bond movie, Die Another Day, came out later that year and by box office proved handily that the gentleman spy was in no danger of being usurped by those that think a tux and a t-shirt with a picture of a tux on it are roughly the same.
That, shall we say, populist view of modern spy war by xXx was on my mind after watching Kingsman: The Secret Service, the new movie by Matthew Vaughn that is very much of the opinion that “manners maketh the man.” Basically, if you can kick ass with an umbrella, you can kick ass with just about anything, and while anyone can be a thug, it takes a rare kind of man to react to any situation with calm, rational composure. And what is the more dangerous: someone who flies off the handle, or someone who can keep their head even as all around them are losing theirs? (more…)