Novel Thoughts blog

A Warning: A Review of Kingsman: The Secret Service

February 24, 2015 12:05 pm | 21 Comments


Move over Fifty Shades of Grey, because you’re not the only horrible movie in theatres right now. Kingsman: The Secret Service is not at all what its trailer portrays it to be—an action packed, fun-loving, spy film. No, no, and no. I cannot iterate enough how no one should watch this film. I expected a James Bond meets The Avengers type thing, and the only thing I got was disturbed.  Warning: this movie is not for the faint of heart and I do describe some details, so please protect little eyes.

Harry Hart, played by Colin Firth, is a spy who loses a dear friend during an interrogation gone wrong. In order to make it up to the deceased’s family, he takes the son under his wing to train him as a spy. Lots of training and cool gadgets later, the son Eggsy, becomes a great spy. Meanwhile, the villain—Richmond Valentine, played by Samuel L. Jackson—has distributed free SIM cards to almost every human on the planet under the guise that everyone should have free calls and internet forever. But the real plan is far more sinister. On a certain day, at a certain hour, all SIM cards will be activated to release a frequency that will turn every human being into a raging psycho-killer.

The first hour and ten minutes is fun and interesting, and then all of a sudden, it takes a nose dive down the toilet. The violence and gore levels multiply a hundred fold. Harry Hart slaughters an entire church full of people under the influence of the SIM cards, and it’s like the movie changes personality. The final hour is way too long and the violence and death is enough to make anyone want to leave the theatre. To top it all off, the ending is absolutely disgusting—every aristocrat in the world has their head blown off, and Eggsy, the hero, is rewarded with a sexual act that I will not describe here, and all of a sudden, close of curtain. Wow, awful.

I simply had to write a review to warn people away from this horrible piece of filth. As many people are trying to find an alternative to seeing Fifty Shades of Grey, I would not pick Kingsman. In fact, maybe just don’t go to the theatre unless you’re seeing Paddington, which I hear is innocent and fun.

Meryl Kaleida

Meryl Kaleida

Meryl Kaleida is Production Assistant and E-book Editor at Ignatius Press. She is also a guest writer for Catholic Word Report. She graduated from Ave Maria University with a Bachelors in Theology and Literature. Meryl is a wife, gardener, singer, author, chef, artist and lover of truth. Her short story "I Couldn't Help but Notice" is available as an eBook. You can also learn more about Meryl on her website Kaleida House.

Tags: Kingsman movie reviews


  1. February 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Was it Old Fashioned that is also out and diametrically opposed to Fifty Shades?

  2. February 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks Meryl. Keep up the good work!

  3. February 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks for the heads up!

  4. February 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    This movie was awesome! I’d like a little more detail if you’re going to tell people not to watch it, other than you don’t personally like violent movies.

  5. February 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    This movie was excellent and mostly clean fun. A bit of violent content is not evil. Dont show this film to your 5 year old but for older audiences, this was an excellent movie.

  6. February 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Apparently dark tongue-in-cheek humor is worse than sexual and social depravity and domestic and emotional abuse?

  7. Meryl Kaleida

    February 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    To clarify: First, I never said this movie was ‘worse’ than Fifty Shades of Grey (although one could argue that the violence is just as bad), just simply that I don’t find it to be a good alternative if you’re looking for something in the theatre. Second, I also never said I don’t watch violent movies… or tongue-in-cheek. There are great tongue-in-cheek films, as well as ‘tasteful’ violence, if you will. However, I think that this movie was in poor taste and a poor example of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor. It crossed a line that left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Take that as you will. My opinion is simply that, an opinion.

  8. February 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    How timely your review is. I saw the preview to this when I went to see American Sniper. I too had a very uneasy feeling about this in my spirit; and you have just confirmed my feeling. People might think it’s just a movie, but I believe this plan is real to an extent and that is why some are pushing for free and total internet access for everyone; like it’s water or something. Beware, most warnings are right out in the open and I think this is one of them.

  9. February 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks! I was interested by the trailer, but not going to waste money on it now.

  10. February 24, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    There are several details that were overlooked in this review, and I think it’s a little irresponsible of Ignatius to publish the review lacking these points. Kingsman was adapted from a comic book series by Mark Millar, and much like some of his other works turned into films, it is a deconstruction of a popular genre. In this case, the classic spy-thriller is the genre being torn apart. The movie is even self-referencing in this vein, noting that it’s “not that kind of movie.” It uses several of the tropes of Bond-type films and turns them on their heads, or gives the audience a commentary on such narrative devices. The aforementioned church massacre was much more than simply a gore-fest; it was a commentary on extreme religious groups, it was a reversal of the “villain” role, and the scene ended in a way that destroyed the expectations the genre has built into the audience.

    There is a lot of nuance to the film that, if one is a fan of the spy-thriller genre and approaches the movie with a mature attitude, will make one question a lot of the preconceptions that are built into the “usual” iterations of these movies. Yes, the film deserves its R-rating with ample amounts of violence, language, and brief partial nudity (with the suggestion, though no depiction, of sodomy). These are things any movie-goer should consider against their conscience before viewing this film. That being said, the movie is far more complex than the simple chastisement it has received here, and I would argue that it actually accomplishes what it set out to do by providing a rather scathing commentary on the spy-thriller genre. It may not be what the trailers painted it as, but it was never trying to be a Bond film.

    • February 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Contributors to the Novel Thoughts blog are more or less welcome to post as they see fit. It’s not an official pronouncement, or anything, from Ignatius Press. Thoughtful discussion is desired and accepted; thank you for yours.

  11. February 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for the review. My wallet and sanity thank you.

  12. February 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Spoilers (not that it matters, the review above revealed enough)
    The violence does increase, however, a certain amount of violence is to be expected as this is a spy / action movie. If violence in spy movies is the concern, you probably shouldn’t take your whole family to a Bond movie, either. That goes for the sex acts content, as well. In this case no sex act was actually shown (whew!) though it is implied. A little more on the violence- it is portrayed in such an exaggerated manner that does not resemble the gore of a slasher movie or the realism of a documentary, if that’s what a potential viewer is worried about. (Side-note: only the self serving and the selfish aristocrats who would happily let the rest of the world perish were fictionally harmed in this move.)
    There is something vaguely Dickensian about the film which I quite enjoyed. The messages of succeeding despite one’s upbringing or circumstances, the potential dangers of technology/following the popular and the ever present fight of good vs evil do make appearances throughout the film; as do teamwork, loyalty, sacrifice and love (though not of the romantic sort.)
    I was greatly entertained and when the end arrived I hoped for more scenes post credits.
    Kingsman is aptly rated R so I expect that anyone within the acceptable age range would be able to process the thematic elements. Worries about the effects of violence and sex scenes on your teens should be discussed with them about any movie containing these elements.
    Overall a fun movie if you are a fan of the spy/secret agent genre and don’t mind Bond with a distinct hint of “camp” over the classicism of the Bourne trilogies.


  13. February 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    To be truthful it was a rated R movie, it isn’t for people who weren’t going to be able to take the amount of Inappropriate stuff it threw at you. In all honesty it was just very realistic. It did have crude humor but what movie doesn’t these days, too top it off action is a big part of common day movies, if whoever saw it wasn’t going to be able to take the gore that comes with a rated “R” movie then they shouldn’t have been in a rated “R” movie, personally I liked the movie and believe it was a James Bond type, so did the 3 other top movie critics including (rotten tomatoes, imdb, and meta critic).

  14. February 25, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Go see ‘Old Fashioned’ an excellent movie!

  15. February 25, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I am amused in a sad sort of way by all of the justification used by Christians in defending filth by claiming/implying they are more “mature”, intellectual, or educated than the average movie goer. Would Jesus enjoy this movie for its “clever deconstruction of the spy genre”? This is EXACTLY how Satan seduces us. And if you do not believe in Satan then what are you doing reading an Ignatius Press review? You are being used, folks.

  16. February 25, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I’ve seen neither film but I agree wholeheartedly with Susan Howard’s commentry.

  17. March 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    When I saw this post on my Facebook timeline I was relieved to learn I wasn’t alone. Thank you, Ms. Amland, for posting. Three words sum up why I so looked forward to this film: “Manners maketh man.” A big Colin Firth fan, when I heard him voice that line in the trailer, I thought I understood what the tone and manner of the film would be. I didn’t. I believe those three words were central to the film, tho, however savagely exploited. Those same words work to condemn this work. Here’s just one example of how. During training to become a Kingsman, the protagonist is rewarded repeatedly for championing the innocent and weak. Yet, remarkably, when he does so in his “final test” he is punished and ridiculed for doing so. Apparently manners do not maketh man. Beyond fundamental flaws in writing like this, the pornographic display of violence in a house of worship is reason enough never to waste good money on this trash. Reminiscent of Kill Bill, evocative of some of the more violent video games, human eyes should never have to endure displays like this. Entertainment? Better described as torture, I think. I greatly regret spending money to see it, and I strongly recommend others do not repeat my folly.

  18. April 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I felt like the movie all and all had a good story line. It was fun! The massacre in the church was not necessarily to make this a good movie, it kind of took away from it. I could get past it though. What the young lady says at the end and what’s implied, that was disgusting and very distasteful, juvenile humor. The enjoyment I did get out of the movie, was completely ruined by the ending of that movie!

  19. April 10, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Viciously killing Christians has become de rigueur as we see on Youtube with Muslim Terrorists decapitating people while Obama does nothing. It is quite trendy for Hollywood to push the myth of Right Wing Nut Jobs in Church so why not have a gloriously filmed massacre of them with Southern Rock being played in the background? Hollywood “knows” that everyone from the South is a Christian, Right Wing, redneck, homophobic group of bastards that deserve to die the most horrific death that could ever be filmed.Or maybe Hollywood should go visit a real Catholic Church instead of the bizarre Church of Scientology. Maybe the film makers should follow their own truth line of “Manners maketh man” and stop spreading lies about the Catholic Church! There were some good things going on in this film until the nightmare of the Church Massacre. If Colin Firth’s character were truly a gentleman-he would have killed himself after all the murders he committed instead of having a conversation with the bad guy about how he did it. He says in the beginning of the movie that he is sorry that he “missed something”that caused the death of Eggsy’s Father and they talked repeatedly in the training sequences about doing everything as a team yet he goes to the Church all by himself without any other Kingsman. Does not make logical sense based on the premise that the film maker set up.

  20. October 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve seen very violent movies I’ve enjoyed “Dredd” “John Wick” etc. But this movie was simply ugly. The church scene is vile – setting up the people in the church as breaching current norms so that they could be dehumanised for the exploitation scene where they are gleefully killed. That’s just part of the ugliness (recall if you will, the scene where the teenage boy is told by his depraved step father that he will rape his mother with the help of his friend whilst the boy is running an errand)- still feel nauseated when I remember it.

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