The King’s Man subjects the heroes to massive betrayal, matching a similar trajectory to the great Watchmen twist hinting at the major reveal.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The King’s Man, currently showing in theaters.
The king’s man presents the formation of the UK’s independent intelligence agency, Kingsman, in the aftermath of World War I, but not without the founders of underground organizations that endured immense tragedy and epic betrayal. With numerous geopolitical intrigues between the warring monarchs of Russia, Britain and Germany and a dark cabal of international historical villains secretly pulling the strings, it is difficult for Orlando and his heroic associates to determine who they can do. confidence. And as the British war effort faces a traitor among them, this plot reflects a similar character arc in Watchmen, up to the same actor as the two treacherous roles, Matthew Goode.
In The king’s man, Goode portrayed Captain Morton, aide-de-camp to British Secretary of War Herbert Kitchener, who ostensibly aided Kitchener and eventual Kingsman founder Orlando, the Duke of Oxford, in trying to prevent the outbreak of the First World War. When war inevitably begins, due to the machinations of a cabal led by a sinister figure known simply as the Shepherd, Morton and Kitchener travel to Russia to urge Tsar Nicholas to stay in the fight despite mounting domestic pressures. However, Morton Kitchener’s ship to Russia is torpedoed by a German submarine, resulting in the presumed deaths of all British personnel on board, only for Morton to reveal himself at the end of The king’s man like the Shepherd throughout, faking his death as he continued his obsessive vendetta against the English monarchy.
Goode previously portrayed Ozymandias in the 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen, and while it’s certainly not uncommon for an actor to play different characters with a penchant for betrayal, there are thematic similarities between the treacherous trajectories of Ozymandias and Morton. Ozymandias and Morton are generally well-respected figures in positions of influence, Ozymandias being a retired superhero and successful businessman, while Morton is a senior military officer in the British Army. Both characters also fake assassination attempts, with Morton going one step further by faking his death, to focus on their respective evil plots.
Of course, the cast and the deceptive cunning shared between Ozymandias and Morton are where the similarities end. Ozymandias explains that betraying fellow superheroes is right to unite humanity in the face of a mutual fabricated threat and ease the tensions of the Cold War before the United States and the Soviet Union destroy each other . For the Shepherd, global destruction and widespread civil unrest are largely the points of his master plan. Enraged by years of injustices inflicted on his native Scotland by England, Morton launches World War I as a means to destabilize and overthrow the English, German and Russian monarchies, reveling in the sheer carnage he and his cabal have caused. .
If there’s anyone who knows how to portray a cunning two-faced villain, it’s Matthew Goode, and he certainly brings that manic energy of manipulation to The king’s man contrary to Watchmenis more reserved Ozymandias. Fans may have been informed that Morton is revealing himself as the Shepherd from the start by similarities between him and the Watchmen villain, but while both characters are prone to deception and elaborate agendas, one of the betrayals is fueled by an obsession with saving the world while the other is driven by a desire to leave it engulfed by the flames.
To see the film’s parallels with Watchmen, The King’s Man is now in theaters.
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