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Kingsman: The Secret Service could be described as the "dirty" version of James Bond – which is hysterical because cheeky 007 is already known for being more than a little risqué. There are various ways that director Matthew Vaughn wanted to push the envelope as a homage to the Bond franchise. The vicious henchwoman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) and her sword legs are a terrific example. And then there’s that back-door joke that ends the film on a blush-worthy final note.
This story is going to contain mild spoilers for Kingsman, so stop reading if you don’t want to know how Vaughn cleverly concludes the movie.
When I recently interviewed Matthew Vaughn about his fantastic spy homage, I had to ask him about the decision to end the movie on an anal sex joke. And the way that he explains it, the joke is rooted deeply in the decisions of the Bond franchise. He told me:
It ends [on that joke] for a very strong reason. A lot of Bond movies used to end on things like Bond trying to ‘attempt re-entry,’ or ‘keeping the British end up.’ So I just thought, ‘We’ve pushed the boundary on every sort of spy cliché.’ We’ve got to end it on The Big One. And there’s only one way of doing it, taking it to the next level!
Ironically, after nearly two hours of language and violence, Vaughn says he’s surprised to hear that some audience members are objecting to the crass finale of the spy thriller. Vaughn told me:
Some people can’t handle it. But it does make me laugh. Really guys, come on. We’ve had thousands of people’s exploding heads. We’ve had massacres in churches. Is really one little gag too much? For some people it is, but I don’t know. We tried the movie without it and it just didn’t feel as crazy.
What does he mean that he tried to do the movie without that ending? Vaughn explained that Eggsy (Taron Edgerton) is told that when he saves the world, he’ll get more than a kiss. He goes back at the end and got a bit of a kiss. The director knew that it didn’t work. So he included his sex joke. And early crowds reacted:
Afterward, people are, ‘Oh, it’s was really good apart from that bloody purile moment. Where was that purile [attitude] when you were laughing? I can’t wait to hear the discussions people have after Fifty Shades of Bloody Grey.
Do all of us a favor. Go see Kingsman this weekend instead of Fifty Shades. You will thank me later!