In April of this year, I was waiting with bated breath for the first proper trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the highly anticipated follow-up to a movie that I absolutely fell in love with, 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. When the trailer released, I was elated, but after watching it closer, I started developing a fear. Now that the film is out, I now know that that fear was not only realized, but in the worst possible manner.
One of the standouts from the first movie for me was the character of Roxy, someone who the film could realistically have done without, but they did decided to include, and what a wonderful addition she was. Portrayed brilliantly by the magnetic and engaging Sophie Cookson who, like the main lead Taron Egerton (Eggsy), was making her movie debut. She really stole the hearts of so many of the members of Kingsman‘s cult following.
Considering the themes of the first Kingsman movie of how it doesn’t matter what you were born into, you can find it within yourself to become a true noble person and to do what was right. Taron Egerton’s Eggsy was brought into this environment dominated by upper class rich men, and Roxy also being the only woman in this same environment. Plus, with both being young, it was proving how society was beginning to show that it was no longer going to be exclusively littered with the close-minded, upper class rich geezers.
Eggsy is, of course, the main character, and he is a great central protagonist, but it didn’t take away from how much potential I saw in the character of Roxy (who by the way, beat Eggsy to the vacant Kingsman role). Their dynamics together was one that I personally have never seen explored in movies — a man and woman never being forced together as love interests, playing off each other — I always felt that these two would be a great duo in future movies.
So, now we get to why this article exists, and spoiler alert for the new Kingsman movie, but since it happens so early on in the flick, it probably isn’t much of a spoiler. However, if you still want to go see the new Kingsman movie and care about spoilers, feel free to click off now. For the rest of you who are still here, enjoy!
Okay so let’s get it out of the way immediately, despite all the love from the fans for the character of Roxy, all she gets in the new movie is providing exposition for the plot, feeding Eggsy some information about his girlfriend’s parents, and then meeting her quick and untimely end immediately when the new villain Poppy attacks the Kingsman HQ. She passes along with Eggsy’s pug JB from the first film, Eggsy’s mate Brandon, and the rest of the Kingsman, and the only survivors are Eggsy and Merlin. Not only am I gutted that Roxy died, but this, to me, is incredibly insulting.
The Kingsman movies have been heavily criticized for being sexist, and honestly I cannot argue against a lot of the points, but this new one went a step too far when a character as great as Roxy is thrown in the refrigerator so quickly. Had Roxy been set up to be another throwaway love interest that shows skin and becomes a damsel in distress (a lot like Tilde, who I will get to eventually), it at least would have been more “typical Hollywood” in its approach (not that “typical Hollywood” is excusable). But Roxy was never over-sexualized in the first film, and she displayed all the capabilities to make her a great agent. This is what makes this move from the plot all the more traitorous.
I know what you’re thinking: Roxy’s death was used as a means to motivate Eggsy to take down Poppy, right? My response to that is, wasn’t JB enough? I mean, if John Wick ever taught us anything, it’s that you know the audience will want you to go after the person who killed the innocent doggo. Along with the other Kingsman who we don’t get any proper time with, and Eggsy’s childhood friend, it should be more than enough to motivate our hero. We wasted so much time growing attached to Roxy, and Matthew Vaughn kills her off like another disposable character. Frankly, If found this action rather disgusting.
Of course, Roxy wasn’t the only major character to get the ax in Kingsman, but that’s the thing that makes it even more sour for me. Those two other prominent Kingsman characters who meet their end get very meaningful deaths — just ignoring for a minute that one of them is brought back for the new film. Harry’s death in the first film had some proper buildup and meaning that furthered Eggsy to becoming a Kingsman, and if Harry had stayed dead, I believe it would have been earned. As far as Merlin goes, seeing him bellow, “Take me home” after fulfilling his dream to be a field agent was a scene that took the character out with the gravitas he deserved.
Roxy’s death is never earned, and using her as a motivational factor is not only unnecessary but really undermines the value of her character. She earned her place in Kingsman and earned her place in our hearts, and killing her off as quickly as they did not only displays a lack of respect for women and female characters in the franchise, but a lack of respect to the fans overall. It also shows a lack of true passion and care for these amazing characters we have come to love.
Sexism In Kingsman
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