Someone left this cake out in the rain!
Filled with sophisticated, comic style mayhem that is piloted by a handsome, plucky hero (Taron Egerton’s Eggsy), who, in turn, is buoyed up by such distinguished talents as Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Samuel J. Jackson and Mark Hamill as a multitude of engaging mentor types and villains, Kingsman: The Secret Service is loads of glorious fun.
My one issue with the film, besides some truly obvious head bursting moments of CGI action, is the ultimate treatment of Princess Tilde, one of the movie’s strongest female characters, portrayed with quirky resolve by Hanna Alström.
Tilde is one of the few fully featured, distinguished characters who actually rejects the devious plan of the primary villain, Valentine (Jackson), and winds up imprisoned in his underground bunker. Spunky and willful to Valentine’s every overture, she is a steely example of a femme in an action movie.
Yet, co-writers Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (who based their script on the comic book The Secret Service created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons) betray this positivity by turning her into a sexual joke by the film’s closing. Upon finally meeting Eggsy, who promises to defeat Valentine, Tilde spontaneously offers up an outrageous sexual favor should he succeed.
This suggestion is so damaging, ultimately, because it is so left field for the defiant princess. Development is, obviously, important for a character and if even, momentarily, Tilde had revealed some kind of amorous side previously, this denouement may have worked. Even more importantly, it is, also, out of context for the film, itself. While there are plenty of spy antics, exaggerated feats of violence and explorations of the darker side of the street thug lifestyle detailed in the film, there is little to no sexuality offered up, making Tilde’s comment stand out all the more.
That our last image of the character is one of her rolling over to, luxuriously, fulfill her promise is, also, unfortunate. Granted, anytime a woman in film (or life, for that matter) expresses a powerful sexuality outside of the vanilla zone is definitely important. Yet, the effect, here, is that moment is all most movie goers will remember about Princess Tilde.
Surely meant as a play on the excessive sheet turning of the Bond films, this issue could have been saved if we saw Tilde reversing the tables on Eggsy by throwing him on his backside to, ultimately, show him what she really meant by “do it in the asshole”.
Sadly, this is not to be.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!