How The First Kingsman: The Secret Service Ruined The Franchise

How The First Kingsman: The Secret Service Ruined The Franchise

When Kingsman: The Secret Service arrived in 2015, it was a breath of fresh air for a genre that’s been dominated by big-budget spy thrillers like James Bond or Mission Impossible. The first entry introduced the world to Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, who is recruited for the secret service. However, Richmond Valentine has evil intentions of using climate change to kill every human being on the planet. There was an undeniable charm to the film that had nice satirical wit, incredible action (that church scene fight remains epic), and colorful characters. It added a fun layer to a genre that was pretty crowded and the success of the first film easily sparked a new franchise.

The second installment, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, raised the stakes, though it didn’t particularly set itself from the original film. The sequel was not a copycat of the first film, but what was fresh and exciting in the original movie was mostly met with mixed reviews from both critics and audiences. Still, The Golden Circle managed to garner over $400 million worldwide and the general consensus amongst fans was more favorable than not. However, that all changed when The King’s Man came out in 2021. Obviously, the poor box office sales of the prequel were due to the fact of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, it didn’t help that Spider-Man: No Way Home took all the praise and glory of every film that came out during the time. The major issue with The King’s Man has to do with the fact that there was absolutely no buzz for the origin film. The marketing campaign was extremely weak, as it did feel that the studio didn’t truly believe that the movie would be a financial success.

So, how did the Kingsman go from such a natural high off the first film, to making a below-average return in the latest installment? As previously mentioned, Kingsman: The Secret Service felt fresh and exciting when it first hit theaters. Part of the reason that Mission Impossible has successfully maintained intrigue and excitement is due to the insane stunts that Tom Cruise does in every movie. In addition, a good story comes along with those incredible action sequences. Mission Impossible managed to find a groove that the audiences continue to enjoy. So has James Bond. Sure, the Danel Craig version is a bit more realistic and modern than past incarnations, but overall, audiences mostly enjoy the legendary character and the strong stunt work that comes with it. Kingsman felt unique because it wasn’t trying to be like James Bond, Mission Impossible, or the dozens of other spy action thrillers that come and go. Though the sequel didn’t exactly have the same freshness, it still represented what many loved about the first installment of the series.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle may have doubled down on everything that worked in the first film, but it didn’t abandon nearly every unique aspect that The King’s Man did. It’s genuinely a fun film, but it’s not Kingsman: The Secret Service. The style is more realistic, and the tone is mainly dour and melodramatic. It doesn’t have the vibrant and upbeat world that was well-represented in the first two movies. Also, the satirical edge was gone. It was a serious spy action thriller that you’ve seen before. The action remained spectacular, but compare the church fight scene to the any of the bouts in the The King’s Man. Neither are bad, but the first stands out because it’s wildly inventive and thrilling. The only action sequence that could toe-to-toe with that epic fight scene is the one with Grigori Rasputin’s battle against Oxford, Shola, and Conrad. Even then, that pales in comparison. Franchises should grow and evolve. That’s the main reason Mission Impossible has become such a lucrative series. However, what made Mission Impossible such a fan favorite hasn’t changed. The stunts get crazier, but the overall tone and spirit of each film aligns with one another.

James Bond is somewhat of a victim to this. It’s a franchise geared towards men, but the recent films have been more inclusive. Women are no longer just eye candy, as they’re roles have more prominent and meaning. It’s not particularly everyone’s cup of tea but considering that it made over $750 million worldwide then it’s not doing too bad. No entry following the first movie has been able to match the originality and freshness of Kingsman: The Secret Service. Should Kingsman 3 see the light of day, then hopefully the director incorporates that back into the series.Kingsman: The Secret Service

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