Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Elton John
I really got a kick out of 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. I enjoyed Kick-Ass and loved the hell out of what that creative team did with cliches and conventions of James Bondian superspies. Audiences seemed to enjoy it, too, so a sequel was stuck, and franchise was formed. Can the second outing live up to the awesomeness of the first?
Our hero Eggsy has fully integrated himself as the new Agent Galahad in Kingsman, and is kicking butt and saving the world. His fling with the princess of Sweden at the end of the last film has actually evolved into a pretty serious relationship. But then, a shadowy organization takes down the entire Kingsman organization in a serious of surgical strikes. All that remain are Eggsy and the Kingsman tactician Merlin. Invoking the Kingsman doomsday protocol, Eggsy and Merlin head to Kentucky and join forces with their American counterparts, Statesman. Together, they find that the organization responsible is the Golden Circle, the world’s most powerful drug cartel, headed up by Poppy Adams. Turns out Poppy has been contaminating her product, as part of a much grander plot. Can the combined forces of Kingsman and Statesman stop the Golden Circle?
What I Liked
As with the first film, this has a spectacular soundtrack with some great music choices. Particularly loved the usage of Take Me Home, Country Road. It’s always great to see those James Bond style gadgets in play. Eggsy is still a likable hero, and it’s nice to see Mark Strong show us a little more of Merlin’s vulnerable side. And Elton John actually kind of steals the show playing himself.
What I Didn’t Like
There’s not one, not two, but three action sequences that try to match the amazing Free Bird sequence of the original film, and it really does come across as trying too hard. The callbacks and references to the first film seem a little forced. And there’s just a few too many forced plot twists. Oh, and despite what you see in the ads, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges amount to glorified cameos.
I still liked it, but it tried a little too hard to match the coolness of the first film.