Kingsman The Golden Circle
Brandon Richardson | 22/09/2017
If you are looking for more of the same slick action and tongue-in-cheek humour that made its predecessor so successful, then Kingsman: The Golden Circle will not disappoint. However, those looking for more will be left empty-handed.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle kicks off where the first installment left us; Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has established himself amongst the ranks of the Kingsman, and runs their classy tailors on Saville Row. It is here that he is confronted by disgruntled Kingsman reject Charlie (Edward Holcroft), and a thrilling car chase through the streets of London ensues. Soon after this, the entire Kingsman network find themselves the victim of a coordinated missile strike, leaving Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) to track down the perpetrators. Their investigations lead them to an allied intelligence agency in the US known as The Statesmen. With the help of agents Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Ginger (Halle Berry), they set out to defeat a mysterious organisation known as The Golden Circle and their quirky leader Poppy (Julianne Moore).
This is a film that will be undoubtedly polarising of its audience. The hyper-violent action, crude and childish humour juxtaposed on the upper-class snobbery we have come to expect from British spy films is where this film excels. Those seeking this from their film-going experience will appreciate that Matthew Vaughn shows an understanding of his target audience. It has been two years since he wowed us with some of the best action sequences seen in recent memory. Although nothing quite lives up to the excellence of “The Church” scene, Vaughn treats us to a much wider variety of gadgets and stunts, including some stunning work with an electrified whip. However, compared to his efforts in the first film, sequences here sometimes become over-reliant on its stylisation, with a tinge too much slow motion here and a dash too much camera movement there. This format of action is likely to put those with a taste for realism offside, but it is hard to look past just how damn cool it is to see a lasso slice a man in half.
The comedy suffers from a similar problem. The script is filled with jokes that only a specific audience has a chance of understanding, such as a line about “swiping left” or merely understanding the “chav” brand of humour. Those who fall in the target audience will find it hilarious, but those outside may be left scratching their head.
Perhaps the most noticeable failing of this film is its story and character development. The unabashed parody of spy film tropes given to us in the original was both viciously entertaining and refreshing, whilst managing to work in meaningful character development as we watched Eggsy transition from a street-dweller to a gentleman. His relationship with mentor Harry (Colin Firth) gave us tangible emotion and, although having the student-teacher relationship flipped on its head in this iteration adds an interesting dynamic, there is nothing that really replaces that strong character development in the first film. In a similar manner, there is nothing that is dramatically original here, which is arguably what made The Secret Service so impactful. Sure, the execution is smart and tidy (including an all round great performance from its huge ensemble cast), but there is little to truly grab our attention; The Golden Circle has no Church scene.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a hell of a lot of fun for those who enjoyed the first in the series, but puts little effort in trying to provide that flair of originality that made its predecessor so enjoyable.