Title – Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Director – Matthew Vaughan (Stardust)
Cast – Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Elton John, Hanna Alström
Plot – With their British headquarters destroyed, Kingsmen Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) head to the United States to team up with their American compatriots The Statesman and take down evil drug lord Poppy (Moore).
“We’ve kind of got a bit of a “save the world” situation here”
Review by Eddie on 22/09/2017
The release of Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014 surprised us all.
Based on a relatively obscure comic book series, Matthew Vaughan’s ultra-violent and wickedly depraved action comedy was a breath of fresh air for cinemagoers with its inventively over the top action, larger than life characters and unique approach to its genre sparking glowing audience reactions and a box-office haul north of $400 million dollars.
With audiences clambering for more Kingsman action, Vaughan and his team return for the Golden Circle, a sequel that doesn’t sully the name of the original but one that also feels rather bloated in parts and loses the element of surprise that made the first Kingsman such an unexpectedly wild ride.
Clocking in at roughly 140 minutes, Golden Circle sees Taron Egerton’s Eggsy and Mark Strong’s Merlin make a trip to the USA in search of their sister-agency The Statesman, after their British safe houses are destroyed by Julianne Moore’s lunatic drug baron Poppy.
Recruiting newcomers Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and the Texan-drawl slinging Jeff Bridges along with the returning Colin Firth, The Golden Circle freshens things up in a cast sense but keeps the formula very much the same, as the two agencies look to uncover the truth behind Poppy’s nefarious plans to hold the world hostage via a deadly drug strand.
The most glaringly obvious thing about Golden Circle and the return to this crazy world is the fact it’s nowhere near as funny The Secret Service.
It’s not to say there aren’t laughs in Golden Circle (and a particularly long winded pop star cameo); they can often be found in circumstances and situations that shouldn’t be humorous which is a staple of Vaughan’s works, but it doesn’t balance the act of action and comedy as well as Vaughan’s first Kingsman ride.
At well over the two hour mark, those expecting a bullet-a-minute action extravaganza as well will be a little disappointed. Things start out with a bang with a thrilling car chase and there are sporadically scattered action scenes throughout but those expecting a finale as eye popping as the first film or even a scene that matches it with famous church fight from the original will be left disappointed.
It’s possible we were just spoilt by Vaughan’s first foray into the Kingsman universe as the ability for the film to remove itself from reality yet remain grounded around robot dogs and dancing drug addled victims with glaring blue veins is quite the feat, while Vaughan’s handiwork when the action kicks up is second-to-none, and even though the film could’ve chopped a further 30 minutes in the editing suite, it’s hard not to enjoy a frenetic finale in a bizarre 50’s Americana setting while seeing renowned actors like Julianne Moore having such fun with their roles makes sure Golden Circle is always a cut-above even when its flirting the line of losing itself within its self-created whirlpool of colour and insanity.
Final Say –
Ticking all the Kingsman boxes that fans of the original will be seeking to check off, The Golden Circle may not provide on the same level of the first film but anyone that loved Eggsy’s debut in the high body count adventure will enjoy this new trip, while those that weren’t fans should stay very far away from this freshly minted exercise in the hyper-real and super energized spy caper.
3 freshly cooked burgers out of 5