Kingsman: The Golden Circle [movie review]
The 2017 movie Kingsman: Golden Circle gets it wrong again, and yet, it has so many critical new features we need to review these.
This movie has the capacity to inspire massive innovations, so it would be quite realistic to expect Disney / 20th Century Fox to also finance prosthetic arm development of their vision of what could be.
This then would not be new. Prosthetic industries seem to run after science-fiction role models, with the following examples:
Now, this Kingsman: The Golden Circle movie features an amputee, just as the first Kingsman: The Secret Service movie did. There, a leg amputee was featured whereas here, we have an arm amputee with us.
Stereotypically, the arm amputee, again, is the villain.
Stereotypically, the arm amputee lacks assertion, self assertion or expression of relevant emotions, and ever so stereotypically, the arm amputee villain is killed in due process of the storyline.
Stereotypically as well, the actor himself is not an amputee - which, from view point of directing or producing and surely watching this movie, is definitely wrong. A movie industry that cannot rely on amputee actors for amputee roles clearly defies its purpose on more than one level.
However, one cannot say that lack of authenticity with respect to the amputee character is a valid point of critique in this Kingsman film. This is almost pure visual fairytale telling.
And despite all attempts to be ridiculous and detached from a real world, and despite the usual stereotypical placement of an arm amputee in this movie, Kingsman: The Golden Circle has cool gadget features, that some day we want to see on real prosthetic arms.
So the movie deserves a close look from viewpoint of arm amputee prosthetics despite the usual concerns.
Usage of prosthetic hand is shown, how to avoid falling from car (sequence of images below). The prosthesis is shown as a robust interface that still works after maybe 200 meters of getting pushed against asphalt in what seems to be some 70 km/h drive. Did you get that? 200 meters, 70 km/h, full force push onto the road.
While iLimb gloves tear themselves up even when left alone (after which the regulations of Touch Bionics require that one ceases, stops, ends and holds all further activities until a Touch Bionics validated glove (they could never explain to me what the technical requirements was for that) was re-mounted on that device), this movie arm is somewhat different.
After a fully torn up glove causes the metal body of the hand to throw sparks while pushed against rapidly moving asphalt, the hand continues to be of great further use and service "despite" that. There, what a shining example of robust and sturdy build that is!
Then, the prosthetic hand - degloved, as it appears - now protects from both mechanic and thermal physical violence - before starting into a 360 angular decimal degree rotation that such prosthetic wrists provide, in order to successfully wrangle the pistol from the Kingsman's hand.
The importance of a sturdy suspension is illustrated in the next image sequence.
While rock climbing or possibly, criminal or secret agent style car surfing, even if only at rear seat passenger handle positions, is not promised by prosthetic manufacturers, they do promise that their prosthetic "robust" arms hold up for everyday activities.
This would, in all likelihood, also cover the lifting of heavy weights as part of regular work. But as it turns out, regular prosthetic stock consumer components do not deliver that as well.
As the story goes on, here, however, the fact that the prosthetic arm seemingly broke off at the shoulder level may have had an intentional aspect after all.
The prosthetic arm, apparently left and forgotten in this high-tech taxi, has sufficient built-in controls or AI (artificial intelligence) to hack into the elaborate Kingsman security system and allow the criminal activities - as laid out and told in this cinematic movie - to further unfold.
The man that apparently lost his sophisticated prosthetic arm in that taxi is now presented with a new prosthetic arm.
At this point, we have to agree that possibly, he wears an advanced neuro-osseous interface, like implants of all sorts, which then causes him to not be able to do all kinds of other everyday life things - with such a protruding interface and oozing stoma / wound, he possibly could not perform a range of activities such as attending public swimming pools at any higher frequency. And quite consistently with such a restricted reality, nowhere in this film is this man shown taking a shower, bath, or swimming in the sea, in a lake or (holding breath) a public swimming pool.
Also, even a well built humeral implant may not be able to fully stabilize such a massive metal build for a prosthetic arm, which probably the straps are necessary.
In one of the epic fight scenes (see image sequences below), all of which make this such a great movie, we see one Kingsman and his amputee opponent re-enacting old Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee or David Carradine type fights - focus on detail, how they stare at each other, the sweat drop, how exactly each blow is supposed to be delivered.
More importantly, this movie features detailed aspects of a new prosthetic arm for the purpose of close range interpersonal physical violent fighting. Quite possibly, the usual movie critic is just as unaware of these aspects just as the normal journalist is unaware of aspects of prosthetic arms. Which is why they get it wrong most of the time.
First, we get to appreciate a type of sling mechanism whereas the user can use the prosthetic hand as thrown missile, and in combination with what appears to be a steel cable, a new tethering type of attack. A more subtle lesson of the following sequence is that anyone that is in that line of occupation - beating people up across sophisticated fighting techniques - wearing that type of prosthetic arm will bring an amount of physical training to the table that should preclude further (stupid) questions. For example, I routinely handle weights in the 60-90 kg range. Do you think I need extra physical training just to pull a bit of cable for a body powered arm? Where in "body powered" does it appear that non-use of your physical body is the way to go about it? So we cannot be surprised to see that guy, in this movie, walk around with such a heavy build of a prosthetic arm, and NOT be able to collapse that column at the wink of his small prosthetic finger, or at a yank of his hosed shoulder. After all, also golf, or swimming, are best performed from the hips ; )
Not only can the prosthetic hand be de-connected as a single object, but also, in order to use the steel wire connection to provide a mechanically connected anchor, it can perform a throw-remote grab performance.
This remote grab, as a new trick, is so good, that the makers of Kingsmen Golden Circle used this more than once in due sequence of this epic fight scene.
More than twice, actually.
If nothing else, this certainly seems extremely useful.
And before everyone gets caught up in just how neat, and gadgety, and cool, these features are for prosthetic arm users definitely, just imagine you stand at the supermarket register but forgot a milk container - shwoosh clamp yoinks - you can use that steel cable remote control flying hand grab to get that right then and there?
Before that happens let everyone come back to basics, and show just how much simple brute force this prosthetic arm can deliver.
My iLimb has a simple Bluetooth feature and as far as I know, one can just use the mobile app to log in to the device as is.
Anyone can do that.
This movie expands on that problem, and has the opponent in this fight "hack" into the software control system of this prosthetic arm. After that, the prosthetic arm can be efficiently controlled, as shown in all clarity, by gesture control mediated by the opponent's very smart watch.
As things are as of today through, probably, the year 2030, we won't see any realistic evidence of such arms actually being built or made available - so it suffices as well to just approximate not only the prosthetic arm look (get a Potemkin arm 3D-printed) but also, to just wear a similarly looking watch.
Because the prosthetic arm, as advertised here, surely has its cuddly heart-warming aspects but really, we all need that watch. Now.
And that is the reason why radio-controlled solar powered Casio pro trek, Casio pathfinder and MTM special ops Geiger counter watches - since years already - were so much cooler than "smart" watches with really nothing in them that went for any jugular.
The end of this epic fight, inasmuch as the tale of the prosthetic arm is concerned.
The movie has so many other aspects to it, it is a prosthetic device fest in many aspects really.
While such device visions are good news, the bad news is that I just got a really good technical piece published [link] that tells us that all of that - above - is far further away in fairytale land than you would have probably though, just now. Oh, well.
Movie and imagery (C) Copyright 20th Century Fox and producers as well as artists.