After the largely successful first installment of the franchise, 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Matthew Vaughn returns in 2017 with the highly anticipated sequel: Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The cast are all back, a new villain enters the fold and we see that the Kingsman organisation actually forms part of a much bigger universe. We at BTG Lifestyle check out the film in IMAX last week and here’s a Spoiler Free review to help you decide if it’s something you need to see.
It should be noted that in order for you to fully appreciate this film, you should watch its predecessor, which chronicled the recruitment of street-smart, juvenile delinquent Eggsy (Taron Egerton) into the Kingsman secret service: an MI6 type organisation also based in England that aims to protect the world from villainous threats.
The parallels to James Bond are obvious, but what Kingsman did well – and aimed to replicate in its sophomore outing – is that it mastered being R-rated while still achieving mainstream success, and owned its over-the-top comedic elements without being a glorified Johnny English. Kingsman: The Golden Circle did a lot of what made Kingsman: The Secret Service successful, however it is not without its flaws. Let’s delve into this in a little more detail:
What it Got Right
High octane action sequences
One thing I took away from the first Kingsman film is how incredible the action scenes looked. It was done in such a fast paced and visually stunning way that despite it not being entirely realistic, it is still good fun to watch. I mean, I’ve seen fights in real life (and in other movies) and it is not nearly as cinematically beautiful as these choreographed fight scenes. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts with a fight in a car while engaging in a car chase through busy streets. The movie STARTS with that scene. At that moment you know that Kingsman 2 is going to be a wild ride with incredible fight sequences and it definitely delivers.
I’ve never been Julianne Moore’s biggest fan. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a good actress but I’ve never been blown away by any of her roles – although I hear Still Alice is very good. But in Kingsman: The Golden Circle she plays the most unnerving villain. Pure evil behind a seemingly inviting smile. She is the devil in this movie. Although it could be said that the President of the United States is the more evil character but I’ll let you figure out why when you see this film.
Julianne Moore plays Poppy, an extremely successful but unhinged drug Kingpin Queenpin who has an evil lair that is essentially a 1950’s American town complete with Bowling Alley, diner, and movie theatre in the middle of a jungle. I loved this juxtaposition. It’s these obscure elements of the villains that makes them so memorable. Like Richmond Valentine’s (Samuel L. Jackson) lisp in the first Kingman film.
But make no mistake, Julianne Moore is as cold as the slush puppies she’s serving in her diner and does not hesitate to take the world hostage through a quite brilliant evil plan.
A villainous plan that makes you ponder
As the head of a drug empire that includes meth, heroin, cocaine and cannabis, Poppy supplies products to pretty much the entire world. And through this, releases a poison that first gives off a blue rash but then proceeds to have fatal consequences. This leads to a hostage situation whereby she informs the President of the United States of her list of demands in exchange for a wide spread distribution of the antidote.
This brings us to a moral debate: if all the drug users are being threatened, should we help them? And, more importantly, are all drug users’ bad people that deserve to have their lives threatened? An interesting point to ponder.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle sees the organisation having their base destroyed and needing to use resources provided by their US counterparts, the Statesman. This organisation is based in the South and has a brewery as their front, similar to the way the Kingsman uses their tailor shop. With a new organisation comes new faces, including Jeff Bridges as Champ (short from Champagne – naturally), Channing Tatum as the hot head Tequila, Burt Reynolds Pedro Pascal as Whisky and Halle Berry as Ginger Ale. You surely must see what they did there.
They all bring the charm and charisma you would expect from them. There are also a surprising – and hilarious – cameo by a certain music icon that absolutely steals the scenes that they’re in.
What it Got Wrong
Harry’s lack of a plot twist
Firstly, this is not a spoiler since Harry Hart (Colin Firth) appeared in the official trailer and pretty much every bit of marketing material involved in the build up to the film’s release. Secondly, this is the problem. I don’t agree that this reveal – that Harry is still alive – should have been in the trailer. It took away from the moment. It took away from the scenes where Eggsy gets emotional about his passing.
It took away from the dramatic reveal. In that moment, we should have all went “Holy shit! Harry is still alive!” and have the exact same facial expression as Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Stong). Except we didn’t because we knew he was alive because we were told that he was alive.
A bit too juvenile
Look, I know that Kingsman doesn’t take itself as seriously as a James Bond film. But there are a couple of moments in the film that – while quite funny – felt a bit out of place for me. To keep with the spoiler free nature of this post, I will just say this: there’s a scene where Eggsy has to get close to an informant and plant a tracking device in a VERY unconventional way. You’ll know it when you see it. Moments like these took me out of it and was just something I did not expect to see. I did laugh though, so maybe that means it was a good move, or maybe I’m juvenile. Or maybe both.
Overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is exactly the popcorn flick I expected it to be. It has some amazing action sequences and is building a world that will undoubtedly bring a trilogy at least. Good R-rated fun.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Check out the trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle here:
Follow BTG Lifestyle on Twitter @btglifestyle and LIKE us on Facebook. Subscribe to the BTG Lifestyle movie blog for updates, and email us at info [at] btglifestyle.com if you have feedback, or would like to collaborate with us.