Hollywood drug movies usually come in three categories:
- Cocaine Cowboys Going Too Far (see: GoodFellas, most of the Olsen twins movies, IT)
- Goofball Marijuana Junkies Win the World Cup (see: Half Baked, Jaws, The Ten Commandments).
- Sexy Pill-Poppers Draft International Trade Agreements (see: Ken Burns documentaries, anything by Eric Rohmer, You’ve Got Mail)
But now, thanks to Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we have a new category:
The Somber Reminder that Drug Users Are Normal People Who Just Want a Toot Now and Again.
Listen to Nick and Fiona take apart the bruvfest Kingsman: The Golden Circle on The Playlist:
That’s right. When this movie isn’t blowing stuff up and putting a tracking device inside a lady’s downstairs parts for no reason and criminally misusing Narcos’ Pedro Pascal and having Halle Berry show up and read some words then leave and trying to pretend that Fox News isn’t a propaganda channel responsible for brainwashing large swaths of the American electorate, it’s helping to remind us that drugs aren’t so bad and neither are the people who use them.
Julianne Moore plays the sadistic drug kingpin Poppy, who’s stuck in the 80s depiction of 50s America who won’t stop banging on about how unfair it is that she has to be holed up in the Cambodian jungle while purveyors of other drugs get to operate out in the open.
She is more or less the only interesting thing about the movie and through her, the movie appears to be sending these messages about drugs:
- If peddlers of nicotine and alcohol are allowed to operate in the open, so too should peddlers of heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
- Sugar is more addictive than cocaine but no one cares.
- Drug users aren’t all stereotypical dope fiends desperate to score the next hit.
- Never get high on your own supply. (But that’s Drug Dealing 101 really…)
So does this Kingsman sequel want to legalise drugs? Hard to say – Poppy is not a very nice person and she does poison everyone who uses her product.
On the other hand, the US President is totally fine with all those drug users being poisoned.
But he also gets impeached so… well…
All right, you win. I have no idea what the movie is trying to say or why Channing Tatum was in it for seven minutes or what was going on with it generally. The whole thing was pretty nuts all around.
And it was long. That much I’m sure of.
For a bit more perspective on marijuana use and the War on Drugs, watch season 3 of Weediquette, which airs Sundays at 9:30pm on SBS VICELAND. The latest episode (as well as the first two seasons) is on SBS On Demand: