Kingsman: The Secret Service did pretty well for itself back in 2014, considering it's not your run-of-the-mill action blockbuster. Instead, it could be more accurately labeled as an action/comedy, a type of film that director Matthew Vaughn has plenty of experience in. His films Kick-Ass and Layer Cake have got to be a few of the finest entries in the genre to date.
So what is it that Vaughn does to blend action and comedy so seamlessly? In his films, it seems that the two have an undeniable link to each other: if the comedy wasn't in place, then the action wouldn't be as good, and if the action wasn't good, then the same would go for comedy. StudioBinder explores this relationship in a few simple steps in the video essay below.
1. Make your hero the underdog
Underdogs can’t win on their own, so they need the element of surprise, which makes for thrilling action—and often provides a platform for humor, too. Plus, everyone roots for the underdog.
2. Push your violence over the top
Violence can be funny when it’s extremely gory, goes on forever or is made surreal.
3. Use one-liners…
- Before fights
- During fights
- After fights
4. Subvert clichés
Most action films feature the same story formulas, so flip them. For example, when everyone’s expecting a big, bad villain, give them a lame one.