Around these parts, they tell us that if you’re going to have an actual opinion on something you have to sign your name. Something about “liability” or “protecting the brand” or the like. So my name is Steven. I write Jack’s most intimate thoughts (and a lot of less intimate stuff about conspiracy theories and local happenings). And I can’t believe that the atrocity that was Kingsmen: The Secret Service is getting a sequel.
This devastating news according to Box Office Mojo:
— Box Office Mojo (@boxofficemojo) October 21, 2015
Let’s square a few things aware first: plenty of lunkheads out there think that this movie is awesome. Our own JT, sadly, is one of them. If you are among the ranks that prefer weak plot development, poor meta-awareness and sickening, outdated ideas in your films, feel free to leave me an angry comment on Facebook or in the appropriate section below. Extra points if you get more than one three-syllable word in there!
The rest of you — those who haven’t stormed angrily away from the keyboard to tear into a pack of beef jerky and flip on Transformers 4 while you wait for this cinematic travesty to arrive — can settle in and enjoy my recap of why this decision ranks among the poorest in Hollywood history.
Exhibit A: Fox Is Desperate, and Desperate Decisions Are Bad Decisions
Having churned out some of the worst offerings of the summer (looking at you, Fantastic Flop), Fox is upping their mediocrity game by doubling down on a franchise that netted a profit for them (it grossed about $40 million domestic, and that verb has never seemed more fitting). Not coincidentally, the sequel’s release date lands a week in front of the anticipated/dreaded second installment in the Fantastic Four reboot. Meanwhile, Firefly fans weep softly into the sleeves of their “Leaf on the Wind” T-Shirts.
Exhibit B: Kingsman Was The Least Original Thing Done With Film In The Last Decade
Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration. Terrible films get made pretty much on the daily. But the fact remains that Kingsman made absolutely zero effort to break any molds. It even sort of wanted you to like that about it. At this point, fans will spew little bits of jerky in adamant protest that the action sequences were cutting-edge and that we should all bow before the power of raw spectacle, further proving my claim. All Kingsman did was dress up the same old ideas in slick new packages: White men are the most important. Outsiders are to be feared. Violence solves everything, especially pretty violence. Women are for men’s pleasure (don’t even try to tell me that the film didn’t promote this idea: your hero straight up saved the world because “doin’ it in the butt.”) Give me Bourne over a Kingsman, any day.
Exhibit C: There’s No Place For A Sequel
There are comics, hopefully of much higher quality than the film, to draw on. But let’s be honest: what’s the point of re-entering this world? Every greedy, capitalist evil that we oh-so-intelligently critiqued by having their heads explode in multi-colored mushroom clouds is dead now. As are the majority of the people running Kingsman. Are you honestly expecting us to strap in for another round of lame recruitment scenarios while you force feed us another ludicrous villain? Please say no, Hollywood. You’ll be lying, but I want you to at least try.
Exhibit D: Kingsman Is Out Of Cards
The first film somehow succeeded in bluffing its way into moderate success with a meager hand during it’s first tour. Armed with nothing but unearned tongue-in-cheek Spy Movie jokes that mostly collapse on themselves and the aforementioned cool action scenes, Kingsman turned a profit. But choreography can only go so far. Look at the progressively devolving Matrix trilogy, which — like Kingsman — dug itself an ideological hole and tried to cover it up with fight scenes. But the first MAtrix film was at least good. We’re starting at ground zero here. Kingsman never convinced me that it was actually a satire and not a low-quality copy of its rivals, and I doubt a sequel will fix that. It’s time to move on, America.
Here’s hoping you join me in an exuberant *sigh* when the trailers, posters and advertisements hit. Roll your eyes and walk right past the theater. Tell them that you’ve had enough.