Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review
When it comes to the Kingsman films, I felt one was enough. I am a huge Matthew Vaughn fan, but I definitely felt Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of his weaker films. So when I heard they were making a sequel to the gentlemen spy film, I wasn’t particularly interested. When leaving the theatre after seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle, that lack of interest remained.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle centres around our lead character, Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, a fully fledged member of the secret service called Kingsman. The film does not wait around, with Eggsy forced straight into action as he is confronted when leaving the Kingsman’s cover-up tailor shop. Vaughn is usually very good at putting together a good action sequence, but for some reason in this film, the action was put into overdrive, and made you feel a little bit motion sick. We see Eggsy thrown in and out of his cab, with the fight switching between real time and CGI at lightning speed, it was all a little too much, and sadly this was pretty much the same for every action scene within the film.
With this intense action sequence out of the way, the film starts to unravel, showing us that the Kingsman organisation has become compromised, and all the secret locations are being destroyed, wiping out pretty much the whole of the service. This is with the exception of Eggsy and his trusty pal, Merlin, played by one of my favourite actors, Mark Strong. The person responsible for the near-demise of the Kingsman was the powerful drug lord Poppy, played perfectly by Julianne Moore, with her, for me, being one of the brighter parts of the film. Poppy was not your traditional drug trafficker, as she reminded me more of a Stepford wife, who was somehow responsible for selling 90% of the world's drugs. It was a really good twist on the character, as she may have had this fun exterior, who would never stop smiling, and was obsessed with the 50’s, but was also pure evil, and did things that made me somewhat cringe in disgust.
With the Kingsman now pretty much non-existent, and Poppy at large, plotting to make drugs legalised, Merlin and Eggsy call upon the help of their partners across the pond, the Statesman. I really enjoyed the concept of the Statesman, as they kept in the same theme as the Kingsman by having a secret service formed out of the country's traditions, substituting a tailor cover-up for a whiskey manufacturing cover-up. With the Kingsman being this stereotypically posh, well spoken and well dressed service, the Statesman are dressed like cowboys, talk like they are from Texas and have a cover-up that is extremely American. The weapons they even fight with match that of an American; long barreled rifles, whips and lassos. I felt myself becoming more interested in the Statesman than the Kingsman, as I have never really been fond of the lead character, Eggsy. Even the name, Eggsy, always put me off!
As seen in the trailer, Harry, Eggsy’s mentor played by Colin Firth, is back, after we saw him shot in the head in the first film. It bugged me that they gave this away in the trailer, but his return acts as a bit of a subplot to the film as we see him suffering from an acute form of amnesia, which I found quite interesting. It was a good way of bringing him back and of justifying why he had been away for so long. There was quite a lot of little plots like this going on in the film, which, I felt, started to become a bit overwhelming. There was even what seemed like a take on President Trump, as we saw the President make some very selfish and radical decisions in reaction to Poppy holding the world hostage by slipping a poison into her drugs that only she could cure.
I used the word ‘overwhelming’ previously, and I think this is the perfect word to describe this film. There was just so much going on, and so many different characters, with action that was off the charts. There were some very famous people in this film, but with very little screen time, it was almost pointless having these actors in the role. Also, the film contained a huge amount of death, that is weirdly brushed under the carpet.
On a side note, I have no idea what the thought process was behind Poppy’s robot Dogs. For starters, the CGI for them was absolutely dreadful, but the overall design, in general, just looked ridiculous. I laughed as soon as I saw them, but not in a good way.
For me they should never have entertained the idea of Kingsman sequel, but sadly they did, and the film did little to convince me otherwise. I am very uninvested in this world Vaughn is creating, and I genuinely think they should leave it at this, but it seems the gentleman's secret service is going to take another very odd turn, a turn I’m not at all bothered by.
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