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YMMV / Kingsman: The Secret Service

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  • Acceptable Targets: A fundamentalist hate group based out of a church and numerous world leaders, including The President of The United States of America and The Queen of Great Britain. It's hard to feel bad when they all get slaughtered.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Roxy actually willing to kill her dog, or did she know (or deduce) that the gun was loaded with blanks? Or did she perhaps attempt to non-fatally wound her dog, taking advantage of the fact that her poodle is significantly larger than Eggsy's pug? And that being the case, did she deliberately pick up a sturdier dog foreseeing that she might be forced to shoot it?
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    • Considering the horrified look from Arthur after the massacre at the church and Harry being shot dead, did his offer to bring Eggsy in on the conspiracy stem from regret at his involvement in Harry's murder and an attempt at atonement?
  • Catharsis Factor: The church scene, for anyone who despises religious fundamentalists.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The entire church scene. A bunch of over-the-top bigots being forced to murder their friends and family against their will while the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" plays. Notably what Harry said that kickstarted it:
    "I'm a Catholic whore currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. Hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, madame."
    • The entire sequence where Merlin sets off everyone's chips making the heads of every single one of Valentine's soldiers and/or allies explode in a row, each in a stream of colorful fireworks, and all to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance.
    • The climax, where Valentine still unleashes the Hate Plague despite a major setback, is played to the tune of KC and the Sunshine Band's "Give It Up", and the ensuing result across the world is pretty much what Valentine describes as a "big party", just with added brawl.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: For a character who has roughly five seconds of screentime, Kingsman Percival (Roxy's mentor) is very popular, and is often paired with the 1st Lancelot in fanarts.
  • Evil Is Cool: Gazelle, the badass double amputee with Absurdly Sharp Blades for legs and enough skill to vertically bisect a Kingsman before he knew what hit him.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Easily a significant portion of Kingsman fanfic has this plot point: Valentine is a lousy shot and Galahad's still alive. Zigzagged by the sequel, where it is revealed Harry was Only Mostly Dead and was brought back by the Statesmen organization.
  • Fanfic Fuel: What do you suppose the other Kingsman agents were up to during all this?
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie has a huge fanbase in Asian territories, especially in South Korea. For SK, it was thanks to a combination of clever marketing, the country's Anglophilia, and themes that resonated with the national moodnote . The movie was also responsible for causing a spike in the sale of double-breasted suits among Korean men. This has been acknowledged by Mark Millar himself.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • He's Just Hiding!: Many people's stance on Harry's death. The sequel confirms it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In this movie, Samuel L. Jackson plays an over-the-top, cunning, Well-Intentioned Extremist Bond-esque villain with plans to reshape the world to his designs, and is opposed by the Kingsmen, a group of top-secret special force dedicated to protecting the world from the shadows. Compare this with his role of Nick Fury in Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he's a level-headed, no-nonsense leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., a secret peace-keeping organization no different than the Kingsmen, and is archenemies with HYDRA, another group of Well-Intentioned Extremist villains also with plans to reshape the world to their designs.
    • Speaking of Marvel, an episode of Agent Carter that aired just a few days after Kingsman's US release featured the villains using a device with remarkably similar effects to Valentine's SIM cards. They even test it on a large group of civilians.
    • Also, precisely one week after the release of Kingsman, The Order: 1886 came out for PS4, which happens to feature an order of Knights who take their monikers from Arthurian legend and induct new Knights into their Order only when another dies in the line of duty. You even play as one Sir Galahad!
    • Many fans of Colin Firth from his family-friendly or rom-com works were quite shocked at the amount of vulgar language he casually uses as Harry, despite the fact that he had previously won an Academy Award for a film where he blurts out a slew of swear words for a good 30 seconds straight.
    • The scene where Harry is invited for dinner at Valentine's mansion, and they are served... McDonald's on fancy dishes. Come 2019 and President Trump invites the Clemson University football team over to the White House for dinner where they are served a buffet of Wendy's, Burger King, Dominio's, and McDonald's, still in the paper wrappers on the serving trays.
    • Taron Egerton and Mark Strong play father and son in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
    • The Origins Episode of the franchise, The King’s Man, is set during World War I. It will be released two months after another, unrelated, WWI-themed movie, 1917, which casting includes Mark Strong and Colin Firth.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Pretty high throughout the whole movie, but special props to the church scene in which a lot of people suddenly start murdering each other, with the badass superspy getting the highest kill count by far. All stylistically filmed to the guitar riffs of "Free Bird". A lot of people are already calling it a masterpiece of action cinema.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Valentine's Hate Plague signal is in full effect (with a brief interruption) for about five minutes. It stands to reason that several millions of people, all over the world, would have killed each other by then. Valentine may not have reached his full goal, but he probably came a long way. It's hard to imagine how Kingsman could ever hope to cover up this story. It goes further than that: by the end of the movie, an enormous number of world leaders, military generals, and scions of industry are dead, and it would appear nobody knows why. Granted the movie's satire argues they're no great loss, but society would grind to a halt as people worked out and/or started fighting over who was in charge. The rest of the Kingsmen probably had a hell of a mess to clean up. The fact that even people like Dean and his crooks managed to survive suggests that Eggsy, Roxy and Merlin did manage to avert most of the catastrophe. The keyword being most, as very likely the situation is still a terrible one in the aftermath.
  • Les Yay: All three remaining Kingsmen candidates were assigned to seduce a female target, including Roxy, who proves up to the task, though none of them get very far before the actual test comes into play.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Richmond Valentine is the Genre Savvy tech mogul who uses this good publicity to convince the general mass to get his SIM chips, while persuading the world's 1% into supporting his cause, implanting them SIM chips so to track their every move, making sure they don't betray him. It would soon be revealed that these SIM chips are connected to his satellites that when activated, would cause people to kill each other; he tests its capabilities on a racist church community with only a Kingsman surviving the onslaught, before killing the Kingsman himself. After which the full-scale of Valentine's plan is revealed; he would launch a global frequency that leads to general masses killing each other off with only Valentine and his followers surviving. Despite attempting to cause massive loss of life, it is done so out of Valentine's belief of saving the world and the rest of humanity and is genuinely affable to allies and enemies alike, even asking Eggsy if he's going to make an incredibly lame pun before going out with a smirk.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I'm a Catholic whore, currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. So hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon." has become a popular retort against racist conservative Christians.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In 2019, a Donald Trump supporter superimposed Trump's face on Harry's in the church massacre scene. The churchgoers were edited to represent news publications. In October of 2019, this edit was shown at a Mar-a-Lago event that featured Trump Jr. and Sarah Sanders as speakers. While apparently intended to show Trump as a badass, in the actual movie, Harry was Brainwashed and Crazy in the scene and is traumatized by the aftermath, before he is executed.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Valentine's plan is mass murder on the grandest scale in a particularly brutal fashion. However, he's ostensibly doing it for the greater good and trying to actually help the world. However, after Eggsy foils his plan and kills everyone with a chip and Valentine still tries to activate his plan primarily to spite those that foiled him (by default dooming the entire human race) is sheer villainy that has no excuse.
  • Narm Charm: Considering the film features over-the-top fight scenes with gadget umbrellas and blind shooting, a villain played by Samuel L. Jackson who lisps and dresses like a swagger, a Quentin Tarantino-esque henchgirl with knife legs and a protagonist who is a chav, this could easily be one of the campiest movies in recent memory. However, it can be argued that it is precisely its greatest point: the film's unrepentently goofy spirit not only makes it somehow work as a semi-serious action flick, but also sends it directly to dive into the Moment of Awesome field.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The Kingsmen organization take the Secret Test of Character to an art form. That dead candidate in the first test? She was a plant and faked her death to heighten the presence of danger. The test where one of the skydiving candidates lacks a functional parachute? The testgiver lied, he just wanted to see how they reacted. Their assignment to seduce a target? A ploy to get them drugged and abducted where they are interrogated about the organization, which is also a ploy to see if they would rat out the Kingsmen under pressure. And even when you're released and sent back home, they can still spy on you, and will. One can only imagine how the candidates who are sent packing adapt back to normal life without seeing the shadow of the Kingsmen around every corner.
  • Signature Scene: The Church fight, thanks to Galahad's badass fighting skills and the film's excellent usage of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird".
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • During the church brawl, one of Harry's victims turns into a very obvious rubber dummy before having his spine concertinaed. There is also very obvious CGI first in the sparks sent flying when Harry smacks some people with a brazier, and later when he sets a man's head on fire using one of his gadgets. Obvious CGI explosion also occurs later on in the movie when Eggsy used the hand grenade on some of Valentine's goons. And when the movie goes slow-mo, live-action misdirection becomes obvious, such as the bartender reacting to Harry's amnesia dart well before it hits him, or one of the church goers obviously not hitting another with a bit of wood in the background, only for the other to react as if he'd been hit after what seems like moments.
    • During the climactic fight between Eggsy and Gazelle, some shots of Eggsy are clearly of a double with a relatively crude 3D model of Taron Egerton's head superimposed.
  • Stoic Woobie:
    • Harry. He may be a very well-to-do, smooth badass who gets to wear cool suits, but let’s take a good look at what happens to him throughout the course of the movie. At the very start of the film, he loses his protégé, and instead of getting any particular sympathy from his colleagues, he’s mostly shown getting flack for “making a poor choice.” Then he tries to comfort the dead man’s family with little success, and has to deal with the widow sobbing and yelling at him. All of this is of course made worse by his guilt for having missed the grenade that killed Eggsy's father. Seventeen years later, the new Lancelot dies, so he loses another colleague, he is reminded of his grief and failure, and if that weren’t enough, his boss is still giving him crap over “picking the wrong sort of guy” for his previous Lancelot candidate seventeen years ago. As he puts it in the bar, he’d “had a rather emotional day.” He then is able to take Eggsy under his wing, which must give him some happiness, but shortly afterwards he goes to investigate Professor Arnold and is drugged with an unknown substance and nearly blown up for his trouble. He spends weeks in a coma, and when he finally wakes up he then almost immediately goes back to work, which is apparently his entire life, as he is never shown to have any sort of relationship outside of the Kingsmen – no friends, no family members, no significant other, nothing. Granted, none of the other Kingsmen are shown in relationships either, but Harry seems to be a bit of a misfit among them, given his progressive attitude and lack of snobbery, so he’s isolated even at work. Indeed, his best friend appears to be his deceased and stuffed pet. Then he has to deal with Eggsy failing his final test, just when he’d been so close, and his very next act is to visit the church, where Valentine’s device drives him into a killing frenzy along with everyone else, and when he comes out of it he reacts with horror to what he just did right before he dies. To top it all off, even if he didn’t know it, his boss was one of the people behind his death! Does this guy need a hug, or what?
    • His protégé Eggsy didn't fare any better, either. He lost his dad while he was still a kindergartner, and it messed up his and his mother's lives so bad that his mother had no choice but to marry a bastard like Dean who's constantly making their everyday life a living hell. He has skills and talents that could allow him to become a world-class gymnastic champion or a member of the Royal Marines, but had to let them all go because he didn't want to make his mother worry. Sure, he has a few friends, but his loyalty to them got him into trouble with police several times, and the last time he did that, he almost gets jail-time that could last years. If Harry didn't show up in his life when he did, his future would be looking very grim. Even when he was offered the chance to become a Kingsman, he had to compete with most candidates who are high-class bigots who like to pick on him because of his social status. Against all odds, he still failed in the end, disappointing Harry who he came to look up to as his father-figure, just before Harry went on the mission that killed him. Even if Eggsy managed to save the day and finally become a Kingsman and give his mother a new life in the end, he would have to live with the fact that Harry would never get to see the Kingsman he become.
  • Too Cool to Live: Galahad, the suave, lion-hearted, polite and soft-spoken asskicker.
  • Ugly Cute: Eggsy's dog JB.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Some parents mistakenly thought the film was just another silly spy movie along the lines of Agent Cody Banks. There was also a cute little pug in the trailers. You can probably imagine how shocked they were when they heard all the cluster F-bombs and witness the Tarantino-level violence. Let's just hope they left right before the characters went to church...Folks, it's rated R for a reason.


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