I’ll wrap up this week’s look back on the movies and TV of 2015 with a scene that is horrifyingly inappropriate but darkly funny. Not a bad way to say goodbye to 2015 and ring in 2016, a year that could conceivably see the coronation of President Donald Trump.
I saw Kingsman: The Secret Service under less than ideal conditions, which might be part of the reason it didn’t win me over entirely. I did laugh, and I like the comic book tone director Matthew Vaughn gave the film (which is in fact based on a comic book). But it didn’t gel completely on first viewing.
That said, I have to single out the Kentucky church scene — in which agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is forced to kill an entire congregation after baddie Samuel L. Jackson triggers a device that turns everybody into homicidal maniacs. The churchgoers’ beliefs are Westboro-like, making their slaughter more palatable, but they are nonetheless essentially innocent bystanders.
The mayhem is expertly choreographed and shot, exceedingly violent and somehow grimly funny. Contributing to the effect is the casting of genteel Colin Firth (fresh off his Oscar for The King’s Speech, of all things) as the ruthless executioner.
Happy New Year!