Review by Dustin Heller
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the new action spy comedy from director Matthew Vaughn. It is the sequel to the 2014 smash hit Kingsman: The Secret Service which was also directed by Vaughn, and is based on the Kingsman comic book series. Along with directing duties, Vaughn also co-produced and co-wrote the script. Needless to say, he’s got his hands all over this movie.
The cast includes some of the favorites from the first film such as Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft and Colin Firth as well as some pretty impressive newcomers in Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal and Sir Elton John. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material.
Picking up where the first film left off, Eggsy is now a full-fledged Kingsman secret agent and in love with Princess Tilde. On the evening of meeting Tilde’s parents for the first time, a terrorist attack takes place killing all of the Kingsman agents besides Eggsy and Merlin. The attack was made by drug kingpin Poppy Adams, a deranged psychopath who’s also poisoned all of the drug users in the world and wants the president of the United States to legalize all drugs. This way Poppy can come out of hiding and be celebrated as a true businesswoman.
Eggsy and Merlin end up stateside and begin working with a company of American secret agents known as Statesman. It is up to these agents to get their hands on the anecdote and stop this mass genocide before time runs out.
In full disclosure, I absolutely loathed Kingsman: The Secret Service, so as you could imagine I had my expectations set extremely low for the sequel. That said, I really liked The Golden Circle and was totally entertained throughout its entirety. Huge surprise for me! Where The Secret Service got it wrong in my opinion, The Golden Circle got it right. It felt like the sequel didn’t take itself as seriously as the original, making for a much more enjoyable movie.
The action scenes are crazy and outlandish, but quite fun and intense. With all of the camera tricks that the movie tries to pull off, the CGI is actually really great. I was really impressed with the entire look of the film. Another thing the sequel has on its predecessor is the introduction of some very interesting and quirky new characters. This was Matthew Vaughn’s calling card early in his career and I was happy to see him come full circle here. It felt like he got back to his roots in both the director’s chair and also in the writing of the script.
Going hand-in-hand with the characters are the solid performances from the cast. Channing Tatum seems to take on the most outrageous, out-of-character roles and he nails it every time. He’s really turned into one of my favorite actors because of the off-the-wall roles he chooses. I also have to mention that Elton John steals every scene he is in.
Don’t go into Kingsman: The Golden Circle expecting a highbrow James Bond-type spy thriller, because that is exactly what it is not. It is nothing more than a popcorn film that doesn’t make you think too much and is a great time at the movies, and it’s definitely worth checking out on the big screen.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens in theaters on Friday, September 22
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