Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Hanna Alstrom, Edward Holcroft, and Colin Firth
Throughout cinematic history the sequel was always meant to be bigger and better. However, bigger stories, bigger movie stars, bigger budgets doesn’t always result in better films. For every “Godfather 2”, “Aliens”, and “The Empire Strikes Back” we also get “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, “Speed 2: Cruise Control”, and “The Sting II”. Sequels have an undeniable place in the cinematic experience today; and with more films wanting to create franchises out of successful ideas, the sequel doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon.
Director Matthew Vaughn takes a swing at the sequel with “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”. Everything about this sequel is bigger. It’s filled with an abundance of ideas, more movie star power, and action set pieces that are trying at every turn to one-up the original film. For a sequel that is trying to be an edgier version of a James Bond film, it makes sense that it would be trying to be bigger. Unfortunately “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” misses many of the marks that the original film so firmly hit.
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has saved the world, losing a mentor (Colin Firth) in the process, and isworking to represent the Kingsman like he was taught. However, a new villain named Poppy (Julianne Moore) targets the Kingsman and destroys their entire organization. Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) are left to the task of saving the world again. However, their mission brings them to America and into the assistance of an allied secret spy agency called Statesman. The two agencies must band together to keep the world from succumbing to a mysterious drug.
At a seemingly endless length of 141 minutes, director Matthew Vaughn utilizes nearly every moment to showcase over-the-top action scenes that don’t have the same kind of impact that the brutal church scene had from the first film. Characters are given fancier weaponry, taking the James Bond approach to gadgets to a new extreme with bullwhips that double as versatile light sabers and briefcases that shoot every kind of explosive projectile. The villain has a meat grinder, robot dogs with pulverizing mouths, and drugs that, instead of making people maniacs like in the first film, make them dancing then paralyzed users. There is a wealth of visual extravagance but basically the same narrative structure as the original film.
The cameos throughout the film are also abundant. Channing Tatum shows up for a moment, full swagger and cowboy hat in tow. Jeff Bridges plays another version of the cowboy character that we’ve seen him play to varying levels of success over the past few films. Halle Berry makes an appearance as a computer guru, doing her best with the minimal time she is provided. These characters, despite the running time, aren’t given much opportunity to make a real impact on the story; instead they play characters of narrative convenience, showing up when the film needs to transition. Even Sir Elton John makes an appearance, gushing expletives and singing songs in full flashy wardrobe.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” does have a few fun moments, mostly when Taron Egerton is left to showcase his natural charisma and Julianne Moore is provided the time to play her villain with devious glee. However, like most mediocre sequels the narrative isn’t given enough attention, abandoned for spectacle and familiar famous faces. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” goes for bigger and better but instead just feels longer and forgettable.
2.00 out of 5.00