Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to 2014’s massive success Kingsman: The Secret Service starring Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, and Julianne Moore. The Kingsman are a secret spy organization whose duty it is to protect the crown and country of England. Except they end up saving the world instead. It's based off the graphic novel The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.
I thought it was ok. Much in the same way that Guardians 2 was ok. There was plenty to like, great action, good jokes, and some interesting character development. However, it seemed like story was sacrificed, especially the villain’s role, which was split up between a couple people. There also didn’t seem to be anything super memorable about the film, except for maybe Elton John’s role. And while it isn’t a movie that lets us be bored, it isn’t one to keep me thinking on it for years afterward. I think it’s worth seeing though, as I feel most people don’t and won’t share my opinion, but that’s all this really is anyway. Also, SPOILERS ahead.
When comparing the first film to the second, the problems with the film become more apparent to me, namely the villain. There have been a number of bad villains throughout the years, and Julianne Moore’s Poppy is somewhere in there. Not because of her portrayal, but because she has next to nothing to do. She only interacts with the heroes at the very end of the film, and there’s zero satisfaction when she’s killed. As I mentioned earlier, her impact on the film is lessened by the addition of other villains, chiefly the robot armed Charlie (Edward Holcroft). His character was a cool one to include, given his history with Eggsy (Taron Egerton), but he’s merely the thug for Poppy. They also hand off a little bit of evil to the US president (Bruce Greenwood) for some reason. And as almost an afterthought, the Kingsman get double crossed by one of their american colleagues right at the end so that they can getcha with one last fight scene.
Despite having 3 years to make this film, it seemed like they still had some problems with production. They introduce us to the Statesman, including Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal, and almost immediately push Tatum to the side. Because of scheduling, Tatum only has a small role, basically insignificant, which made Pedro Pascal the one to buddy up with Eggsy. He’s a great actor, but it would have been a much different film if Tatum had been the one in that buddy role. Other than for marketing purposes, I don’t understand why they decided to keep Tatum in the film. Scheduling, especially for actors as big as Tatum, is huge, so I highly doubt it was some kind of error. I feel like the difference between Eggsy and Tatum’s character Tequila would have been much better for storytelling, even though we did get some great moments with Pascal.
Speaking of great moments, the opening scene of Kingsman 2 is pretty fantastic, and shows the audience exactly what they’re in for, which is director Matthew Vaughn’s eye for interesting fight scenes, full of whip pans and hidden edits. All the action in this movie is fantastic, especially the fights between Eggsy and Charlie. Though it does seem like they padded the film a bit with these fights, they are never boring, just a bit too many, which works well for the attention spans of audiences today.
While I wasn’t to impressed the main story, the B story of Eggsy’s life with his girlfriend Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström) and the recovering Harry Hart (Colin Firth) was some great stuff. All of the drama between Tilde and Eggsy felt surprisingly real, and I was sad that we didn’t get much of it in the third act, when Tilde becomes the damsel without even knowing it. Having Colin Firth back was cool, even though it kinda made his death in the last film less impactful. It made for some strong scenes, but his role was less interesting when they got into the third act after he had memory restored.
If you watch the Make It Stop video about Kingsman, you’ll see my friends make strong arguments against what I’ve said here, and I highly suggest you watch that when it’s out. Their opinions are very interesting, having both liked the film, and they give you a more rounded take on the film. As for me, Kingsman: The Golden Circle stands a 6/10. But that’s just my opinion, what did you think about it? Let me know in the comments, either here or the video, and stay tuned for more!