Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Starring Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Jeff Bridges, Emily Watson, Bruce Greenwood
The Americans are here to ruin a promising franchise. Two years ago, director Matthew Vaughn made a star out of newcomer Taron Egerton (Eddie the Eagle) with a witty, sarcastic and intelligent script. Kingsman didn’t play as well in America, so for the sequel, everything from the pace, humor and Taron’s charisma is altered. The opening scene of Kingsman: The Golden Circle is so bad, it becomes obvious the bloated budget wasn’t spent on visual effects, rather big marquee names. It’s star power over quality this round. Matthew Vaughn returns as director, but his script is second class, catering to the low brow comedic appetite of US moviegoers who think Transformers The Last Knight creative entertainment.
When the entire Kingsman clan are exterminated, only Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) remain to restore and rebuild the long-standing secret protectors of good. “Doomsday Protocol” leads the men to a Kentucky distillery, where they connect with brethren, American Statesmen. Turns out, Statesmen founder’s tailor was a Kingsman. Eggsy and Merlin also discover their deceased comrade Harry Hart (Firth) is still alive and in the Statemen’s care. Together the two agencies will go after a psychotic drug terrorist named Poppy (Moore) who has poisoned the illegal drugs she peddles. In order to save millions of drug addicts (also known as human beings), she wants the US President (Greenwood) to make illegal drugs legal and taxable before she will release the antidote.
When Elton John is the funniest thing about your sequel, you know you’ve made a a wrong turn somewhere.
When Elton John is the funniest thing about your sequel, you know you’ve made a a wrong turn somewhere. Julianne Moore once again plays the villain following similar characters in Seventh Son and Hunger Games, which isn’t very interesting. Bridges and Tatum have minor roles to play here; Their names are just a gimmick to sell tickets. The robotic dogs in Poppy’s 50’s nostalgic hideout that look like something from a Michael Bay flick. While the screenplay does attempt to reason the resurgence of Harry Hart, it becomes clear the Kingsman franchise is headed decidedly more towards the science fiction element. Emily Watson and Bruce Greenwood have their own solo segment which provides comedic commentary of America’s stance with drugs.
There’s nothing like that centerpiece church shootout sequence from the previous film, just endless action scenes that are poorly choreographed. When Firth’s character bit the dust in 2015, I sat up in my chair for an action film that had the guts to make such a bold and shocking move. A human meat grinder that turns victims into hamburgers, drugs that make users dance, and a finger condom are all examples of elements that you wouldn’t have seen in the first film. The Golden Circle also plays things much safer this time around. Vaughn worked wonders when he reinvented X-Men with First Class coming off his witty Kick Ass movie. The Golden Circle is the epitome of what’s wrong with sequels as an overblown entry into a franchise that was banking on creativity.
The American influence ruins Kingsman sequel with overblown budget, expanded cast and more ridiculous antics.