**SPOILERS AHEAD** For a movie that wants to play with spy movie tropes, Matthew Vaughn‘s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” doesn’t do much to upend the traditional role of women in these kinds of films. In his R-rated movie, heroic women are either sidelined like Roxy, are villains like Gazelle, or in one of the movie’s most controversial developments, become nothing more than a sexual reward for our hero. Teased at in the trailers, the finale of the movie finds Taron Egerton‘s Eggsy given the promise of anal sex if he succeeds in his mission of saving the world, as if saving the world wasn’t reward enough. It’s the most juvenile joke in an already juvenile movie and many took offense, but Vaughn is defending the inclusion of the lame-brained gag.
“If you’ve noticed, this is my ‘Spinal Tap‘ of trying to find 11 with every scene. What happened there was I studied all the old movies, especially the Bond ones. At the end of ‘Moonraker,’ he’s floating around in space on Dr. Goodhead, and they say, ‘Bond is attempting reentry.’ In ‘The Spy Who Loved Me,’ he says he’s ‘keeping the British end up.’ The innuendo is pretty strong and always comes from the men,” the director explained to EW.
“I just thought it would be great to turn it on its head by having the woman say it. I actually think it’s empowering,” he continues. “Some bloody feminists are accusing me of being a misogynist. I’m like, ‘It couldn’t be further from the truth.’ It’s a celebration of women and the woman being empowered in a weird way in my mind, which will cause a big argument again I’m sure. It’s meant to be tongue-in-cheek and crazy.”
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I’m not sure how having an imprisoned woman bargaining her way out of her predicament with anal sex is “empowering,” but calling those who question the scene and the joke “bloody feminists” doesn’t exactly help one’s argument that they are creating a “celebration of women.”
But mostly, Vaughn feels it’s “just a joke,” and while there were debates with the studio about the line, he felt the movie was more “brave” by including it. And that without it, the finale just wasn’t as satisfying.
“What you do is you say, ‘If you save the world, I’ll give you more than a kiss.’ That’s it. Then he goes back for it and shuts the door. That’s it. Then you go, ‘Yeah, that’s okay.’ For the 20 percent who were offended by it, there are 80 percent who are rolling around laughing so hard. Those 20 percent of people just need to lighten up a little bit,” Vaughn said. “It’s about pushing boundaries and having a bit of fun. It’s not meant to be offensive, and it’s definitely not misogynist or any attack on women. That’s for sure.”
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