The King’s Man

The King’s Man is not the best film in the franchise, but it has heart and passion, which sets it far apart from a lot of other action films. Unfortunately, it’s 2 decent films shoved into 1 mediocre one.

Old Man Action

Ralph Fiennes is an interesting choice to play as the lead in an action movie, considering he’s not exactly… energetic. He’s as British as it gets, and his previous blockbuster roles involve playing a desk jockey in the new Bond films, and a stiff, genocidal wizard. The character goes through something like three integral personality changes before the climax, which then simply devolves into murder for revenge. 

I have a very good feeling that this movie was something like 3 and a half hours before they edited out nearly an hour in order to release this thing. The first hour is really weird and nearly unnecessary, involving a (great) creepy Rasputin, an odd section where Ralph Fiennes uses his child as sex bait for the opium-riddled villain, then gets magically healed, all while his son listens in on what he presumes is a sexual encounter between Rasputin and his father. This section concludes with a pretty decent sword fight which really didn’t need to involve a 4:3 people to pants ratio.

At the end of this hour, I realized that holy shit, that’s the whole plot… what’s next? Turns out, there was a second villain, another complete character arc for the father and the son, and more unconvincingly flat minority characters in Djimon Hounsou and Gemma Arterton. The latter of which, quite inexplicable, kisses the dad in order to pull him out of a drunken depression. Their romance is never again mentioned, before or after. She is literally just a sex object. So. 

Fighting Homosexuality One Swordfight at a Time

However, the fight scenes are really, really, really good. They’re inventive, creative and unique. The first Rasputin fight is a spinning, loud, vaguely sexual menagerie. It ends with him getting shot by Gemma Arterton, because mEn ArE mEsSy. Then there’s an insane fight in the quiet and darkness that’s something I’ve never seen or even imagined before. The final fight, in comparison, is quite lukewarm.

There’s no overt homosexuality, but it really bothered me that the only actually non-heterosexual character ended up being a druggy villain who heals wounds by performing cunnilingus on it. Then he’s shot and has no impact on the plot whatsoever.

Is it homophobic? Sort of.

Am I just stirring the pot? Absolutely.

Is this a problem? Sometimes.

Hotel? Trivago.

3/10.

I want to support fresh, new, independent properties, but this movie was just terrible, I don’t know what else to say. You can currently watch The King’s Man in theaters.

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