In the film Kingsman: The Secret Service, there is a battle scene in a cathedral is one of the most iconic action moments in recent history. However, there are layers to what makes it so amazing, aspects that go beyond the primitive satisfaction we all get from witnessing someone get their crap knocked out.
Despite being filled with really amazing moments, this church brawl is the one that stands out the most. Only four and a half minutes of choreography, this scene took seven days to shoot and required about 100 performers as well as more crew members. In this scene, Harry Hart kills nearly 40 people, some of whom are killed in quick and obvious ways and others of whom are killed in impromptu and gruesome ways. So what makes this scene a highlight?
Matthew Vaugh was able to pull off this captivating fight scene is proof that the right elements come together at the right time. The music, editing, acting, choreography, and pacing blend together perfectly in this of kind violent scene. Setting u this scene was indeed a complicating process as lots of requirements were needed including 20 stuntmen. And there’s so much to coordinate in that particular scene. We have gunshots, special effects, window breaks, and everything that happens at a high speed but thanks to editing, it eventually makes everything glued together. Not only that, the editing is done in such a way that it seems this scene was taken all in one go. In this scene, editor Eddie Hamilton uses the bodies of people getting throw to blend clips together to make the scene more smooth.
Originally, the fight scene was about 7 minutes without any cutaways. After viewing the long violent scene, its been decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for viewers as it is way too much to handle. It was then some scenes were cut. This gives the audience a chance to breathe from the intensity of the scene and it also has a supplementary contextualizing effect. The way this scene was taken makes us as viewers feel as if we are inside the church, fully immersed in this violent scene.
Another thing the editing team did was giving a constant vibration of the frame throughout the entire scene. You can notice how shaky the frame is in the whole scene. This is an additional element that makes the scene more energetic and alive. The fight choreography itself is yet another element that took this scene to a whole new level. Guillermo Grispo, a former stunt’s person, made this scene wild, interesting, and nearly disturbing. Guillermo is a master when it comes to using the elements around him. In this scene, viewers are not only excited about Harry’s high-tech gadgets, he also uses parts of the church to get rid of some of the attackers.
By using the right music, the right editor, the right fight choreography, the right actor, the right camera operator, and the right director, this scene becomes unique, giving viewers all the benefits. Also, all the great elements used are perfectly balanced keeping the scene unique and very much alive.