Review – Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman
Produced by: Dave Gibbons & Mark Millar
Release Date: September 20th 2017
In the wake of the release of Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix, I decided to revisit Kingsman: The Golden Circle for review. When I first saw this movie back in 2017, I was extremely disappointed at how much of a let down it was in comparison to its predecessor. I thought that now we are a few years separated from that initial disappointment that it would be a good time to look back and see if I still feel the same about the sequel to Kingsman.
You can look at this movie from two different perspectives. If you choose to see it as a dumb, switch-your-brain-off spy movie and are only going for the crazy, insane action scenes, then you will have a good time. If you are looking for a decent comic book movie that serves as an adequate sequel to the first movie and sets up a potential future franchise, then you will probably leave feeling similar to how I did; pretty disappointed.
The first movie was released with no hype behind it and for most people was a pleasant surprise. This film had a lot more to live up to and unfortunately it never quite gets there. Although the movie does feel like a sequel, (and not a great one,) it still isn’t the worst sequel I’ve ever seen to a comic book movie.
Julianne Moore plays the antagonist in the movie and whilst her motivations for what she is doing are questionable, you can clearly tell she is having a lot of fun with the character and that results in a fun performance to watch. The action scenes are as fast paced and as fun as you would want them to be and although they do feel cartoony, there are a few crazy set pieces that you can not help but grin at.
This movie also introduces the Statesman, an American version of the Kingsman who work out of a whisky factory rather than a tailor’s shop. Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry don’t get much screen time, which is fine, but Channing Tatum is hardly in the movie at all. All of this despite him appearing on a lot of the marketing for the film prior to release. I think he is onscreen in Hateful Eight for longer than he is in this!
Also, the decision to bring Colin Firth’s character back from the dead is still a jarring one due to the explanation for this being sort of anti-climactic. Essentially, The Statesman have came up with a cure to gunshot wounds to the head and any other fatal wound that you may sustain. The process involves wrapping the wound in a gel strip and then inflating it with two syringes.
Sure, you can argue this is a heightened reality where crazy stuff like this is entirely possible, but my problem with it, is that it immediately lowers all of the stakes. If anyone can be brought back from the dead, then how is there any peril left for the characters in the franchise?
After this whole revelation, they kill off Merlin, the character played by Mark Strong. His death is really pathetic and something that could have easily been avoided. Eggsy accidentally steps on a landmine, (even though they specifically point out that they are using a minesweeper,) then Merlin sprays the mine with a freeze gel so that Eggsy can step off of the mine and Merlin takes his place, then he distracts some guards and gets blown up.
What I’m left wondering is the limit of what can be fixed with the regeneration strip. Surely if a bullet to the head can be walked off, then getting blown up by a landmine is fair game? Could they not have tried piecing him together like a jigsaw a wrapping him in the magic gel strips? I guess they could bring him back in the next movie and I’m sure if they do, we will know when the first trailer for Kingsman 3 is released, since Colin Firth’s resurrection was spoiled in the trailers for this movie.
Overall this isn’t a bad movie, it’s just disappointing. There are some entertaining action scenes, but rubbish dialogue and ridiculous plot elements make this inferior to the first Kingsman movie and pretty mediocre overall.
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