Film Friday – Kingsman: The Secret Service

Harry Hart meets young Eggsy to try and recruit him as a Kingsman agent, but before they can talk they are rudely interrupted by a gang of local n’e’r-do-wells…

I have to confess, there’s something very pleasing about scenes in movies where the good guy surprises everyone by completely trouncing the bad guys with a few well executed moves. And the badder and bigger the bad guys the better. There’s a similar scene in the movie Witness where a bunch of the local hard men bully a few of the peace loving Amish community, not realizing that one of them, Harrison Ford, is a cop in disguise. Mayhem ensues and only Harrison is left standing.

We like seeing the good guys win in a fight. It appeals to a certain sense of justice. A desire to overcome evil. In movies it’s known as the myth of redemptive violence, the idea that you can fight bad violence with good violence. And there’s certainly truth in that. Similar scenes occur in the Bible too. When the bullying Goliath takes on simple shepherd boy David he bites off more than he can chew. David decks him with a single stone and we all cheer with relief and joy. Ehud outwits the evil king Eglon, pretending to bring him a message from God, but instead leaning close and stabbing him in the belly, and justice is done (in Judges 3). The people are freed from the grip of a corrupt tyrant.

But there are contrasting moments too. When David later has the chance to kill his enemy Saul he refuses to do it. He is too loyal. And ultimately when Jesus squares up to the evil, corruption and injustice in the world, he wins the battle, not by fist fighting or using an arsenal of weapons, but by sacrificing himself. Putting himself in the firing line and absorbing the horror of a world gone mad. This is a scene played out down the ages too. Time and again men and women have laid down their lives in order to help and free others. A story that continues to this today.

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