REVIEW: KINGSMAN THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
By Christopher Spencer
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Golden Circle stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, with Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges. When the Kingsmen (Egerton and Strong) are attacked on their home turf, they turn to the American Statesmen (Tatum, Berry, Pascal and Bridges) for help against another megalomaniac (Moore) bent on taking ultimate power in the world.
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a movie that came completely out of nowhere 2 years ago, stunning many audiences with the amount of violence, sex, black humour, and lessons about being a gentleman. There’s only one place to go but up, right?
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is boasting itself as bigger and louder than before, featuring a huge cast of big-name actors, expanded settings and a crazier style. It is quite unfortunate to note that none of these “bigger and louder” attempts work in the finished movie.
The returning characters are still fun, but are put in tired, unnecessary situations that don’t feel like anything like the first movie, and thus we care less about Eggsy, Merlin and Galahad. I wanted to see these characters move forward from before, but the movie constantly pushes them back, as if not letting them grow or change or even make a difference in the overbearing plot.
The plot itself does make sense in a way, but there is just so much here to unpack that we never needed to. The inclusion of the Statesman, Julianne Moore’s villain, the return of Colin Firth, Eggsy’s relationship with the Swedish princess (yes that’s now a thing), plus double-crosses, 3 other villains, Glastonbury Music Festival, the war on drugs and the President of the United States all happens here, and most of it should have been cut. Its first-draft work, throwing ideas on the wall and hoping something would stick like spaghetti. Best to let the spaghetti boil a bit longer.
You can still enjoy some of the stereotypical performances from the new cast, plus an absurdly hilarious turn from Elton John of all people, but you’re also left wondering “did they need all those people?”. Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges are cameos compared to everyone else, yet they receive full names on the poster and cast list, while Pedro Pascal has more screen-time than both combined.
The action set pieces are fine to watch, and the first 30 minutes are quite fun and move nicely, but it gets to be so overbearing at a needless 141-minutes. Not even laser-whips and briefcase-machine guns can save it.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is enjoyable to a point, and maybe I’m being nit-picky, but going in expecting nothing and coming out disappointed is a sign that something is wrong. It’s an example of a sequel doing what a sequel shouldn’t do and that’s just not a fun time at the movies.