A pastiche of all the hyperbole of the beloved great British Bond institution, Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman (2014) adopts many of its ludicrous conventions in order to ridicule them. However the end of the world is not just a plot device, it is cause for great anxiety and the reason why the film carries an unexpected environmental message.
Our hero is Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Eagerton) who is recruited by Colin Firth’s Harry Hart aka Galahad into the Kingsman secret service after his father’s time there. The antagonist, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is a lisping, cartoonish super villain-come-environmental activist who desires to wipe out all of humanity bar his rich and famous mates with a sim card he is mass-producing and widely distributing.
Valentine’s (Jackson) evil is motivated by the belief that humanity’s existence on planet earth is unsustainable; genocide being the obvious solution. We empathise with Jackson’s villain during his heartfelt monologue about the lack of commitment to environmental matters before the film cuts to a challenge the aspiring new Kingsman recruits are faced with: water rapidly fills their dormitory in order to test their resourcefulness in a crisis situation. We might speculate that Vaughn is advocating the need for the younger generation to be prepared for a greater threat than maddened business moguls, that the rising sea levels are more immanently endangering than previously expected.
Although it is often overlooked, comedy often has the potential to deliver profound commentary on serious topics. Young filmmakers take note, perhaps this could provide some inspiration for your own short. It is somewhat a coincidence that the entrepreneur and sustainability campaigner Livia Firth will be joining us at the Festival in September, we’d love to know what she makes of this reading of the film!
Click here for the trailer.