“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges. Released on September 22, 2017, the film has the agents of Kingsman teaming up with their American counterpart known as Statesman in order to stop a notorious global entrepreneur.
The film is directed by Matthew Vaughn, who also directed films such as Stardust and Kick-Ass, and it is a sequel to the 2015 action film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is also directed by Vaughn. The first Kingsman film was a surprising success in terms of box office and critical reception when it was first released two years ago. I for one clearly thought it was a splendid good time at the movies. Plus, it was the first movie where I was introduced to Taron Egerton, who’s showing off some good talent so far in his acting career. Because of this, my anticipation for this latest action-packed sequel is pretty high. Most of the sequels don’t score quite as high as their predecessors, but based on the marketing, this could be the one that might be as good as the first film. Only way to find out is seeing it for myself.
The first Kingsman film has its usual share of stylized violence and sexual content, which were often criticized by critics for being over the top. This film appears to be no different, with some several action sequences that’ll make you go, “That’s totally unrealistic”. But hey, what do you expect from a Kingsman movie, Saving Private Ryan? The film’s story pits the main character, Eggsy Unwin (Egerton), and his Kingsman allies against a brand new antagonist in the form of Poppy Adams (Moore), who has ties with a secret organization known as “The Golden Circle”. When the Kingsman headquarters gets obliterated into a pile of dust, their only hope of achieving victory is to form an alliance with Statesman, the American version of Kingsman who somehow has a knack of naming their agents after several types of alcohol. Like the first film, “The Golden Circle” already knows that it’s an action-packed ride that is made for mature audiences and fans of the source material. It’s not designed to be like James Bond or any other Oscar-worthy action film that the big movie critics are hunting for. It’s designed to be like Kingsman and only Kingsman, and for the most part, I had fun watching it. Taron Egerton once again delivered a likable performance as Eggsy, while Colin Firth made a splendid return to form as Harry Hart, who was supposed to be dead in the first film. What I liked about the story is that it explores the friendship between Eggsy and Harry a bit more. It’s far from emotional, but it’s a nice touch, regardless. Julianne Moore as the psychotic Poppy was also a delight to watch, but her character failed to match the same level as Samuel L. Jackson’s character in its predecessor. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I find it amusing that he pokes fun at the spy genre in the first film. The members of the Statesman were a nice addition to the sequel, but their amount of screen time was surprisingly limited, save for Pedro Pascal as Jack Daniels. So if you’re hoping to see Channing Tatum kick some butt with the Kingsman, I’m afraid that you might be a bit disappointed. Quite possibly my favorite part of the film is none other than Elton John as…well, Elton John. It’s just surprising to see a foul-mouthed version of Elton John in a movie, let alone a Kingsman movie, thus it garnered some pretty decent laughs for me. The action sequences were my main highlights of the film despite the fact that they weren’t that memorable compared to its predecessor. Not only were they entertaining and, in this case, quite violent, but they were nicely shot with swiftness and style. There were also times where the film’s style can get in the way of its storytelling, but if you don’t mind that, then you’re going to have an easy time watching it. The film clocks in at around two hours and 20 minutes, which is surprisingly longer than the first film. I actually didn’t have any issues with the running time, but for something like this, I can agree that it doesn’t need to be as long as Transformers.
Overall, Matthew Vaughn made a solid effort in making “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” a fun action-packed sequel for adults despite being a step down from its predecessor. Aside from its running time, some unmemorable storytelling, and the lack of screen time for a couple of new characters, the film genuinely offers the same experience that the first film delivered two years ago with some middling, yet decent, results. If you enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service, there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy this one as well, but don’t expect it to offer anything more. However, if you don’t like the first film because of its amount of violence, then this one won’t be able to win you over.