Look: We’re aware that the Kingsman series of films—which have now, inexplicably, expanded to include a prequel with none of the same people from the first two in it, set in the run-up to World War I—are not intended as historical documents. There is no secret quasi-government agency who wages war with murderous billionaires while dressed in dapper suits; Colin Firth can’t actually kick an entire church of hatemongers’ asses; Elton John is probably not nearly as chill as he seems. Even so: This new red band trailer for The King’s Man is one hell of a historical headache.
Fair credit where it’s due, though: Russian priest Rasputin was a noted hedonist with a love of food and fucking, so Rhys Ifans’ portrayal of him here isn’t all that far off. Beyond that, though, we have Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, and Djimon Hounsou attempting to stop the Great War, which: Spoiler alert, they probably won’t. (Also, looking over the film’s cast list, we notice that there’s someone showing up in the role of famed archduke assassinator Gavrilo Princip, which is just hilarious.)
Beyond that, we also have Fiennes waxing poetic about the joys of being a violent secret agent accountable to no government, Rasputin kickboxing, and Hounsou cutting a guy’s head off. (That last part, admittedly, looked pretty cool.) Overall, though, the whole package is just tremendously loud and tremendously stupid-looking—which, fair play, we’d certainly hate to see the prequel abandon the principles the rest of the franchise has been founded on, or which have created such a long and profitable career for original author Mark Millar.
(The above version is the green band trailer, by the way,which cuts out the ball talk and the blood but keeps the secret militia stuff. You can watch the red band trailer here.)
The King’s Man blasts its way into theaters on December 22, just in time for everyone to enjoy the traditional contemplation of Rasputin’s balls during the holiday season.