Ultraviolence + a dash of smutty humour + a bunch of one liners = Kingsman: The Golden Circle
I didn’t know if I’d be willing to jump back into the Kingsman world after the ending of the first one spoiled the fun I’d been having, but I’m SO glad I did!
Definitely not a film for the critics…this one is blatantly for fans of the first, so don’t be put off by the slamming I’m sure it’s going to receive!
Eggsy is all grown up, juggling life as a spy and having a serious girlfriend (a crowned princess no less). That is, until, a psychotic, 50s-obsessed drug-lord decides to poison her drug supply and hold her own customers hostage until the president meets her demands. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, Eggsy finds himself and Merlin having to seek the aid of fellow secret intelligence agency, Statesman, in the US.
Taron Egerton is back as the charming Eggsy, now dating the Princess of Sweden (yes, that is the girl who ‘rewarded’ him at the end of the first movie – don’t remind me GRRRR) played by Hanna Alstrom. Part of the first film’s charm was watching Eggsy go from ‘zero to hero’ under the gentlemanly (and ruthless) tutelage of Harry Hart (Colin Firth). The film feels a little shallower without that particular dynamic, now that Eggsy is a big proper spy man, but we still get a little taste of our favourite bruv when he catches up with some old friends early on in the film. If you’ve seen any promo for The Golden Circle you will already know that Harry Hart is in fact a big part of it (don’t worry, I won’t spoil how he survives that head shot). As per usual, Colin Firth brings his A-game, although in a slightly different capacity this time round (no spoilers here folks). If Kingsman: The Secret Service was Eggsy’s journey to manhood, then The Golden Circle is his journey through his first serious relationship. As you can imagine, dating a spy is not without it’s challenges. Alstrom gives a solid performance as Eggsy’s partner – although admittedly spends most of the movie incapacitated.
You might think that director, Matthew Vaughn, would have learnt something after the backlash regarding the final scene in The Secret Service. You would be wrong. Although not quite as offensive (in my opinion) as the first, The Golden Circle doesn’t shy away from a pretty outrageous situation involving planting a tracking device on a girl at Glastonbury. It helped, somewhat, by providing some comic relief from the uncomfortable situation and having Eggsy call Princess Tilde to ask her permission – but ultimately felt like it was there for pure shock factor.
Julianne Moore is absolutely delightful as the unhinged villain, Poppy Adams. Remaining super chipper and cute as a button while putting a man through a mincer and then cooking up some man-meat patties is no easy task. Moore makes it look easy (which might be concerning now that I think about it), and looks like she’s having a blast in her 50s themed secret lair. She’s even managed to kidnap herself THE Elton John, who she forces to perform private shows for her (cue amazing action sequences to Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting). When i saw that Elton John would be making a cameo I definitely prepared myself for some epic cringe moments. However he was actually genuinely very funny, albeit totally bizarre,
The American secret service agency, ‘Statesman’, brings us some very familiar faces. Channing Tatum makes a surprisingly short and forgetable appearance as agent Tequila, Halle Berry is in a very underutilized role as the token female agent Ginger. Jeff Bridges makes a few brief (but memorable) appearances as the head of ‘Statesman’, Champagne (lol). The American agent they actually team up with is Whiskey, and Pedro Pascal does a very solid job as the ‘I’ll slice you in half with my crazy electric whip’ guy.
The action sequences are intense, dizzying and absolutely brilliant! Often paired with amazing soundtrack choices – the action is why you go to see Kingsman films on the big screen. The Golden Circle definitely kicks it up a notch in this area and I think I caught myself actually sitting on the edge of my seat at several points. Of course there are insane amounts of grizzly deaths and in some parts the jovial one liners from Eggsy and Harry while ruthlessly killing people, actually got a little disturbing.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle isn’t going to win any awards. It’s plot is all over the place. So much is left unexplained – some scenes are literally just forced in there as throwbacks to The Secret Service and make little-to-no sense. It’s sexist, crude and exhaustingly gory and yet it’s still a crap-tonne of fun.