When Kingsman: The Secret Service premiered in 2014, most of the audience couldn’t quite believe just how good that movie was. Director Matthew Vaughn blended together the perfect amount of ridiculous, over-the-top action with grounded characters that we actually cared about, creating an absurd James Bond parody that still had some emotional angles behind it. Remember how cool that church scene was? Watch it again (warning - it's violent) here:
A sequel was only a matter of time. Fast forward three years and now that time has come. 20th Century Fox has just released Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which sees Matthew Vaughn return to direct and stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal and Channing Tatum.
Picking up one year after the events of the first film, Eggsy (Egerton) has now become a tried-and-true Kingsman, saving the world one glass of scotch at a time, operating next to Merlin (Strong) while living London.
However, when a new threat emerges — a woman named Poppy (Moore) who is hiding out in Cambodia and is trying to control the entire drug trade — that wipes out the entire Kingsman headquarters, Eggsy and Merlin are forced to go to the one place they really don’t want to go in order to enlist help: Kentucky.
America has their own equivalent of the Kingsman, appropriately entitled the Statesman — where everyone’s codename is some kind of alcoholic drink (agent Tequila, agent Whiskey, etc.) Lead by a man named Champagne (Bridges), they lend a hand to their British counter-parts in helping to take down Poppy and her evil maniacal plan as all sorts of maddening mayhem ensue.
The reason why the first Kingsman movie (arguably) worked was because Matthew Vaughn was able to reign in some of the craziness while still putting his own fun twist on the whole thing. The reason why Kingsman: The Golden Circle doesn’t work is because they threw this out the window completely. Kingsman: The Golden Circle officially takes things way too far as anything and everything goes. Characters act like ridiculous cartoons — especially a certain glorified cameo that I won’t spoil but goes way too far, plot points that don’t really make all that much sense fly at you from left and right, and they lost the element of fun that was so prevalent in the first film.
me: I hope Kingsman 2 is good
Kingsman 2: pic.twitter.com/NBRQwhfG73
— always correct guy (@yeblod) September 21, 2017
All of the performances in the movie aren’t necessary bad; however, the way some of the characters are written don’t always necessarily work. There’s never really a clear reason why Colin Firth had to return - other then fan-service of course - and his whole storyline is somewhat pointless and takes away a lot of what we liked about him in the first place. Not only that, but seeing how he somehow survived a (SPOILER FOR THE FIRST KINGSMAN) gunshot at point-blank range, it takes away any dramatic stakes on whether or not these characters are really in danger.
The Statesman are all an interesting addition to the film - except for the fact that they don’t really play into the movie all that much. Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges are both given less than five minutes of screen-time, Halle Berry sits on the side-lines for most of the movie and Pedro Pascal was the coolest part of the movie until about half-way through the movie there’s an unforeseen twist regarding him, which winds up pretty much ruining his character.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle tries to take the things we loved about Kingsman: The Secret Service and dial it up about 11 notches. The results are an over-stuffed and noisy blockbuster that is never as enjoyable as it should be. It has its moments, a couple of jokes here and there, but by the time it ends you might end up feeling rather disappointed about the whole thing. Matthew Vaughn is still an incredibly talented director, but it’s time for him to move on to a new property (Man of Steel 2 maybe? Please?) I don’t think we need a Kingsman 3 either — let’s just cut our losses here and enjoy re-watching the first one.
Watch the trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle here, and let us know what you thought of the movie in the comments below.
Sequelitis strikes again: 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' review4
Fine performances and some fun moments every now and then
Misses the mark on what made the first one fun, way too over-the-top and a lot of unnecessary sub-plots and characters