The “Kingsman” sequel, much like the original, sits at a nexus. They are proper gentlemen who champion old-world traditions; they are also elite undercover agents who utilize futuristic technology, using not-so-subtle CGI. However, there’s one sequence that breaks from this old world-meets-new schtick, and it stands out as stunningly crude as it is rudimentary — and so narratively forced it ties the feather-light plot into a pretzel.
Halfway through “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” the Kingsmen’s American cousins — the Statesmen — boast enough technology to literally heal a bullet to the brain. But when our heroes Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) need to complete the relatively simple task of putting a tracking device on the villain’s girlfriend, they are forced to rely on a latex finger condom.
“For me, I was like how do you reinvent the ‘Guys, you got to get in the room, you got to place a bug,'” said director Matthew Vaughn in an interview with IndieWire. “It’s hardly an original mission. So how do you make that mission harder?”
Vaughn’s answer is a mucus-activated tracking device that must — nay, can only — be inserted vaginally. The first hurdle is seducing their mark (Poppy Delevingne), who prefers the younger Eggsy and eagerly brings him to her room. This is a moral dilemma for the young protagonist, who is deeply in love with his princess girlfriend.
“I thought James Bond gets to shag and gets to do whatever he wants to women, and there’s no repercussions whatsoever,” said Vaughn. “I like the idea of a modern-day spy who is in love with someone and suddenly being asked to do something Bond would do in his sleep and have no problems with it, but being forced to do it because he has to save the world.”
When they get back to the room, a nervous Eggsy fakes having to go to the bathroom — although she offers to let him pee on her instead — so he can secretly FaceTime with the Princess (Hanna Alström) to discuss how he has to cheat on her to save the world. The conversation doesn’t lead to the moral and guiltless clarity Eggsy hoped for, and he reluctantly returns to the bedroom to save the world.
Vaughn’s camera tracks with Eggsy’s hand as it goes into her underwear, and then cuts to a CGI shot that follows the tracking device as it travels inside the woman. Asked about why he went so far as to include the CGI vagina cam, Vaughn joked, “it didn’t have be [CGI], but I thought it’d be more tasteful if it was.”
Getting more serious, Vaughn said he knew the sequence would be controversial and he embraces that.
“I like to push boundaries,” said Vaughn. “I’m quite happy if people love my work and they hate my work. What I don’t want is people not to discuss it and be bland and boring, so I do things where I want people — it’s just who I am and I’m not interested in homogenized, bland cinema, the sort of movies made-by-committee in Hollywood. I want to do something where people will discuss. You can’t please everyone. I know some people love it, I know some people seriously don’t like it, and I respect if they don’t like it, and they don’t need to watch the next film — but thank you and I’m sorry if I offended them.”
“Kingman: The Golden Circle” opens in theaters on Friday, September 22.