Kingsman: a defence of violence in film

A candlestick through the throat, a knife in the eye, 20 gunshots to the head: these are just some of the 40 gruesome and inventive deaths that appear in an action scene lasting only three minutes in the new film Kingsman: The Secret Service.

I loved every second of the action in Kingsman and thought it was the number one reason why the film was so fun and enjoyable. Yet every time a drop of blood is shed on the big screen, a group made up of ultra-liberal, humorless, alternative hippies and evangelic, die-hard, Margret Thatcher-loving conservatives come together to form a mob of complainers and bitches. Crying over a movie they often haven’t even seen, this group will try and preach to the public the dangers of going to see a film like Django Unchained or A Clockwork Orange. Somehow thinking that the public is stupid enough to go see a film involving violence then go home and decapitate their sister while burning down a children’s hospital.

People who can’t distinguish between film and reality are called children, hence films with extreme violence are only permitted to adults. Of course not every movie requires it, even though the film Frozen could have been drastically improved by a scene in which Elsa is mauled by wolves. However violence is often used as a tool by filmmakers to illustrate a dramatic point within a film, for example a war movie. Saving Private Ryan wouldn’t work as a dramatic, historical, masterpiece if Spielberg had been made to change the hard hitting action we see during the D-day landing scenes. Violence in the movies can also be fun and let the audience relax and enjoy a ridiculous show of gore like the action we see in Kingsman. Quentin Tarantino is known for doing revenge flicks: Inglorious Bastards, Django Unchained, Kill Bill. The premise often involves the main character being horrifically wronged in some way and then going on a journey of gore and mayhem. These films make for great cinema and have an extremely gratifying climax, like Hitler being gunned down then set on fire or slave owners being massacred, quenching the audience’s thirst for blood. Yes indeed, it’s peaceful people like you and me that long to see violence on the big screen. And that’s a good sign.

In fact, I would like nothing more than to get all those media twits that cry and moan about too much killing and violence alone in a dark room where no one can help them and…do nothing to them.

Because I am not a violent person, and the millions of people who go see gory movies on a daily basis are not violent either. If violence in movies did actually have an effect on society, then we would see it constantly.

That’s not to say atrocities don’t exist. Practically every time you turn on the news, it’s some depressing story about a chemical weapons attack in the Ukraine or a massacre in the Middle East. But do you really think ISIS is watching Rambo then going out and committing genocide because the film made them think it was OK to kill people?

Of course not. If anything violent movies would occupy the time of murders and terrorists and keep them distracted from committing horrendous war crimes. Start airdropping Tarantino movies into the war zones – there’s an idea for the UN.

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