Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts shot out of a cannon. For 13 minutes you’re inside a blender, cars and people doing thing you didn’t know possible, and then the film starts to settle. The settlement period is as fun as a legal settlement – long, painful and lacking humor; but light, we do have some light… At the end of the tunnel is a bustling, robust action-packed orgasm sequenced in ways I didn’t know you could sequence. One problem, it feels like 10 years before you get there. Kingsman really overcooks it but the light mostly outshines.
The sequel again features Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. He’s back this time as a polished, battle-tested secret spy dude who’s new mission at hand is to best Julianne Moore and her army. Moore plays “Poppy,” a drug lord hidden In Cambodia and possibly Happy Days? Her slate of drugs knows no bounds and is determined for legalization and global recognition through the sale of all things high. Poppy is ambitious and very much in control, but her attempts at humor are bad, and that seems to repeat itself over and over. I never pegged her as a comedian so this is not surprising, just a tad disheartening. If the goal was to paint her as a psycho with dull humor and weird scene segues that are intended to be funny but are not I suppose it was successful. Her motive is weird and murky, but whatever that’s the plot. Samuel L. > Julianne
The Kingsman must uncover her location before she can destroy the world. To bring Poppy’s operation to its knees Eggsy is going to need some help. At the risk of dropping a potential spoiler, assuming you haven’t seen the feature poster or trailer, a dead Colin Firth, Harry returns through the miracles of Saran Wrap and a couple of syringes or something like that; and my gosh is he lame and mega-boring. He eventually literally snaps out of it, and starts to rival what we became accustomed to in the original installment of the series. In fairness it would be tough to level up his mastery from film 1, but he gets better throughout. If you find yourself thinking, “What the f*ck?” Don’t worry, it will be fine, but I do find him massively unlikable at points. The Butterfly Effect.
Now that we’ve set the movie up, throw in roughly 55 minutes of blahhhh. It’s not important or worth covering. Ya know, stuff like planting a tracker in a would-be assassin’s girlfriend’s vaginal cavity? You know, stuff like that? Moving on…
Bright spots: There are a few. For one Jeff Bridges is Jeff Bridges, which in English translates to AMAZING. Halle Berry and Channing Tatum charm as you probably guessed they would. Tatum’s accent melts the screen before a rather long, unexcused absence. He does eventually resurface. Berry is along for the ride, and well, she’s nice to look at.
Egerton was solid the second time around just like the first. His newly attained love interest Hanna Alstrom as Princess Tilde also makes an appearance. If you recall, Eggsy landed Your Highness at the the end of the first flick when he was tempted with backdoor action, which led to some super heroics including besting a women with swords for feet and the lispy Samuel L. Jackson. I did particularly enjoy Eggsy meeting her folks, so some of the blah smashed in the middle of the sequel isn’t so bad.
Pedro Pascal who plays Whiskey in the movie and a time warped Burt Reynolds at the same time is strapped with the sort of weaponry you’d want if you had to win a best out of 3 rounds against Johnny Cage. He alone may be worth the price of admission. He’s very good.
Mark Strong (Merlin) is strong to quite strong and is impressive beyond what you would imagine. He carries the show when scenes are otherwise slow and lifeless. Merlin is easily the best and most subtle, dynamic character the film offers. The trusted sidekick mans Eggsy up when needed, finally sees some field work and helps take the movie Home.
Not-so Bright spots: Kingsman 2 is lonnnnnng, oh my is it long. I could have done without the entree; give me the appetizer, desert and we’re Golden. The majority of the film dragged, was a bore and missed the comedic mark. I’m assuming the production team had so much content, didn’t know what to part with and eventually said, “screw it throw it all in there.” Its unlikely Kingsman 2 wins any awards, editing being one of them.
When it is all said and done, much like the first film the last half hour is balls deep and really delivers. That alone takes this film from a low 6 or high 5 to 6.8. That’s how good the end is. It’s so good it compensates for 65% of the movie which is very Meh.
After all, it’s a film about a spy agency hidden in a tailor shop in central London that Voltrons with its distant cousin in Kentucky to hatch a plan to conquer a middle-aged female drug lord who’s home base is on the set of Grease, and fend off would be assassins that eat hamburgers made of human brains and have killer robot dogs for pets. So yeah, there’s going to be some goofy stuff in there.
I enjoyed watching it and if you view this as entertainment, you should be pleased. Is it better or equal to the first? Absolutely not, but there are a fair number of laughs, great action and exceptional fight scenes. I would recommend seeing it, just don’t expect it to compete with the original.
My Rating: 6.8/10