Spoiler Alert: Moments and plot details from Kingsman: The Secret Service will be discussed openly throughout this list. If you haven't seen the film yet, it's best to wait until you've done so, in order to preserve the element of surprise. Otherwise, read on at your peril.
Much like Matthew Vaughn borrowed and lampooned the essential super hero tropes for his film Kick Ass, his work on Kingsman: The Secret Service takes the 50+ years of James Bond's history and puts it on its ear. With both films, the director has lovingly paid homage to the past glories of superheroes and spies, while at the same time poking fun at them with a respectful level of honestly. In particular, there are ten moments that Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman nail down with perfectly aimed nods and subversion. So take a break from your suit fitting, and read through our list of ten incredible tricks the Kingsman branch learned from their brother at MI6.
10. Die Another Day - The Secret Underground Trick
How Bond Did It: In Die Another Day, James Bond finds himself brought back into active service after a nasty run in with the North Korean military. He's "welcomed" back at a disused tube station right outside of MI6 headquarters, which is traditionally used for such purposes. It also doubles as gadget storage for Q's many devices deployed in the field.
How Kingsman Flipped It: The tailor shop that operates as a front for the Kingsman organization has a rather special fitting room. A room that conceals an elevator shaft that brings our master spy and his prospective student down to a secret train car that operates as transport between the tailor shop and Kingsman HQ.
9. You Only Live Twice – Valentine’s Lair Design
How Bond Did It: In You Only Live Twice, Ernst Stavro Blofeld holes up in an active volcano. Using nature to his advantage, he hollows out his new home and fills it with a high tech command center, an army of goons armed for total warfare, and enough weapons to take out a small army. The computers are gigantic, and the volcano has a gigantic staging area that can house a full size rocket.
How Kingsman Flipped It: Valentine really was a big fan of those old Bond films, as he not only took almost the exact design scheme for his dastardly pad, he also has the pre-requisite army of goons. Though seeing as Samuel L. Jackson's baddie is more of a stylish, modern gent than the drab Blofeld ever was, Valentine has his command center decked out with flat screens, a disco ball, and a really cool touch screen console. All in all, he has much sleeker digs than his predecessor ever had.
8. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Genocidal Maniac’s Lair Is In The Mountains
How Bond Did It: Not content to only use the super heated confines of an active volcano, Blofeld also used a super swank ski lodge on the top of a mountain as his bachelor pad of ultimate destruction. Piz Gloria, the lodge chosen by Blofeld as he was plotting the infertility of mankind, served as a headquarters to only the finest women from around the world – and one undercover super spy.
How Kingsman Flipped It: Blofeld seems to be one of the two major influences on Valentine's career as a villain, and it shows in his lair's design. Combining both sides of the Blofeld spectrum, the location of Valentine's lair is the polar opposite to its design influence. A hollowed out mountain serves as the millionaire's bunker, complete with a runway concealed in the side of the mountain itself.
7. From Russia With Love – The Shoe Blade
How Bond Did It: While in the employ of SPECTRE, Rosa Klebb was an assassin that relied on a very powerful concealed weapon. Infamously mocked over the decades, the "shoe blade" was her ultimate weapon in combat. Not only was the blade easy to smuggle, as well as deploy, it was coated with a poison that would take out the victim with just a cut.
How Kingsman Flipped It: Surprise surprise, in the sharp dressed arsenal that the Kingsman organization, there's a weapon that lives up to their cutting edge appearance. Though the big difference is while Rosa would stomp her shoe to deploy the blade, the Kingsman variant relies on the "German Diplomats' Greeting" of a heel click. Eggsy uses this blade in his battle with Gazelle, doing her in with the cruelest cut of all... a slight gash along the length of her arm.
6. Goldeneye – Former Agent Turns Baddie
How Bond Did It: In the beginning of Goldeneye, we see Bond at work with Alec Trevalyan, his best friend and compatriot. Of course, after a mission gone wrong, and his existence being disavowed as a result, Alec seems more than a little upset with Great Britain. So what better way to exact revenge than becoming a baddie?
How Kingsman Flipped It: Kingsman doesn't play this card as hard as some of the other ones, but it does play it in a manner effective to the story. Charlie, a fellow Kingsman recruit and total prat, washes out of the training program and is never heard from again. At least, until Eggsy tries to thwart Valentine's plan; which reveals that Charlie's dad is one of the political figures holing up in the V-Day bunker.
5. The Spy Who Loved Me – Intruding On Bond’s Final "Conquest" Via Surveillance
How Bond Did It: After defeating Karl Stromberg's designs to conquer the world, 007 and his Russian counterpart, Anya Amasova (code name XXX,) decide to start melting the ice on the Cold War. When confronted as to just what the hell he thinks he's doing, Bond replies that he's, "keeping the British end up." This same sort of scenario is applicable to Bond's tryst with Dr. Holly Goodhead at the end of Moonraker.
How Kingsman Flipped It: In a gag set up before the big battle between Eggsy and the Valentine goons, the crown princess of Sweden promises that if he saves the world, she'll give him "more than just a kiss." What exactly she promises is too funny to spoil, but sure enough our spy in training wins the day. His reward is provided to him exactly as promised, and Merlin closes down shop before we can see anything through the camera planted in Eggsy's glasses.
4. Tomorrow Never Dies – Villain’s Hijacking Of Satellite Networks
How Bond Did It: Tomorrow Never Dies featured Elliot Carver, a villain that decided to try and start World War III by taking over military satellites to send military ships off course and into enemy waters. He did this using an encoder, as well as a media empire large enough to cover every blow and every strike. In the course of investigating Carver's plans, James Bond manages to execute a HALO jump into enemy territory.
How Kingsman Flipped It: During the Kingsman training regimen, Merlin guides the prospective students in a HALO jump exercise, which names Roxy and Eggsy as the victors. And while Valentine doesn't want to take over the world by using his satellites, he does manage to use them in order to activate a frequency that turns people into mindless killing machines.
3. Skyfall – Death Of The Spy’s Mentor
How Bond Did It: Towards the end of Skyfall, the moment you never thought would happen in a million years ended up becoming a bittersweet sendoff for Dame Judi Dench's incarnation of M. After an explosion mortally wounds her, M dies slowly due to blood loss. It profoundly effects Bond, and gives us a rare moment where the steely secret agent actually feels genuine loss.
How Kingsman Flipped It: In a move that not only recalls Skyfall, but also the opening of From Russia With Love, Harry Hart takes a bullet to the head after the amazing, one take church brawl he engages in. Sadly, Eggsy gets to witness the, and is overcome with great sadness over the passing of the man who gave him the most purpose he's ever had in his life.
2. License To Kill – Revenge Spurred Mission (Despite Lack Of Official Credentials)
How Bond Did It: After an attack that wounds his best friend and kills his friend's new wife, Bond is suspended from active service when he tries to force his way onto the case. With some friends in the right places, his usually impeccable wardrobe, and an instinct that points him where he needs to go; Bond takes on the drug cartel that tried to murder his friend.
How Kingsman Flipped It: Eggsy goes on a similar rampage, with the help of fellow recruit Roxy and their trainer, Merlin. While Eggsy's falling out with management results in the death of Arthur, one of the most senior Kingsman agents (and a turncoat,) his rampage includes the bespoke suit his mentor had made for him, and the weapons that he was privy to the existence of.
1. Moonraker – Maniac Plans Mass Genocide With Perfect Specimens Secured
How Bond Did It: Industrialist Hugo Drax has a plan. A plan that involves the release of a nerve gas that will cleanse the Earth of all but those who Drax sees fit to carry on the next stage of human civilization. To do this, he builds a space station that will house himself, and a select handful of people who fit Drax's genetic model of purity.
How Kingsman Flipped It: In perhaps the biggest lift from the Bond series, Kingsman: The Secret Service has Valentine securing world leaders, celebrities, and dignitaries who sign on with his master plan. To do this, he uses his hollowed out mountain lair to keep those he deems worthy safe from harm, ready to restart the world once his signal wipes it clean. While he chooses his targets, they don't always come willingly – as opposed to Drax's master race, which really doesn't put up too much of a fight.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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