Review: Taking up where the first film left, Kingsman: The Golden Circle revolves around the downtown-boy-turned-secret-agent, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), as he finally joins the rank of Kingsman. While the young agent calibrates into his new secret life—including living in his deceased mentor’s (Colin Firth) mansion and secretly dating a Swedish princess he once saved, the secret service is undergoing a massive attack from a colossal crime organization called The Golden Circle. To cope up with the attack, Eggsy must enlist the help of the Statesman a.k.a. Kingsman’s American counterpart.
Matthew Vaughn apparently got highly invested in making Kingsman that he finally made his first sequel. This time, Vaughn—along with his frequent collaborator, Jane Goldman—takes the liberty in expanding this globe-trotting espionage bravura. His passion can be seen from his eagerness to amplify what he achieved best in the first film into double-powered action panache. It’s bigger in scale and in duration (clocking in at 141 mins); but, is it more fun? Barely.
Golden Circle starts as a fast-paced tech-laden action, which reminds you of how astonishing the first film is—full of highly stylized action with imaginative gadgets. After some over-the-top reintroduction, the film takes a sharp turn by cleaning slate with methodic headquarter attacks (as in Mission Impossible and 007). Following the demolition, Golden Circle jostles to every possible way, introducing Julianne Moore’s jaunty villain, Poppy Adams, a drug kingpin who literally owns a fortress town in the midst of jungle. Poppy enjoys eye-candies and sugary props, which might have been taken from Katy Perry’s music videos; as well as she enjoys Elton John’s music. Yet, she enjoys grinding people more than anything else. Similar to Samuel L. Jackson’s villainous character in the first film, Moore successfully gives villain a quirky reputation, which perfectly matches the Kingsman’s world.
Headquarter-less and gadget-less, the Statesman in America becomes the only chance of survival for Eggsy and his behind-the-screen comrade, Merlin (Mark Strong). If Kingsman uses ‘Knights of the Round’ codename, their American cousin is using liquor names and dresses like cowboys. With on-screen team consisting of Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal and Halle Berry, you can imagine how Golden Circle is overcrowded with characters and stories. Including Elton John mentioned earlier, you already have 4 Oscar winning names in one hell of blockbusters; but, that’s not all. You might have seen the teaser poster acknowledging a pivotal character from the previous film (who apparently is portrayed by an Oscar winner, too) joins the party, too. With 5 Oscar winning names on the ensemble of cast, that doesn’t guarantee anything for the story-line. Each character with each backstory floods the film—resulting a convoluted plot which gives much frown that amusement.
Presented with over-the-top action sequences which defy any physical law and raucous adult jokes, Golden Circle still makes a super-fun joyride. Vaughn might think that he needs to ‘go big or go home’ to make the sequel works and he actually does. It appears exuberant in look, but it could never really repeat the wonder that the first film has sparked. While acquiring the expected R-rated brutality, it never lives up the rating with some ‘toned-down’ brutality, which appears as if the film targets wider audiences. Casual viewers might find the amount of ultra-violent action sequences in this film delightful; however, die-hard fans of the first film will find it simply bland.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle appears bigger, tougher and grittier than the predecessor; but, at the same time, it appears more convoluted and incongruent. Set aside logic and simply enjoy the show, despite it doesn’t look any better in presentation as a globe-trotting espionage action bravura compared to The more compact and effective Secret Service.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Action, Adventure, Comedy Directed by: Matthew Vaughn Written by: Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman based on comic book by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons Starred by: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry Runtime: 141 mins Rated R