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Dan's Review: "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" goes to extremes

Sep 23, 2017 01:10AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Golden Circle - © 2017 20th Century Fox.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox)

Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material.

Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Elton John, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, Sophie Cookson, Michael Gambon, Poppy Delevingne, Björn Granath, Samantha Womack, Matt Letscher, Tom Benedict Knight.

Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, based on the Kingsman comic books by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:

Sometimes a movie can be too cool for itself. When Kingsman: The Secret Service was released in early 2014, it was a more visceral version of a world akin to James Bond, albeit with a little more sophistication. Unlike a Bond movie, it was a film that relied heavily on comedic gore and extreme violence; a rare, representation of a graphic novel adaptation. This weekend’s sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle has a lot to live up to.

Taron Egerton is back as Eggsy/Galahad, the young spy trained by Harry (Colin Firth), the previous “Galahad” in the Kingsman spy group until his untimely death in the first film (or was he really killed?). Eggsy is in a romantic relationship with Swedish Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström) whom he rescued at the end of the first film when the entire KIngsman team is nearly wiped out by Poppy (Julianne Moore), an eccentric drug lord living in a 1950s-inspired lair in the middle of a Cambodian jungle. The only two survivors of Poppy’s attack are Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong), who discover that they have an ally in the “Statesman” secret spy team based in Kentucky. While the Kingsman hid their operation using a series of men’s tailor shops, the Statesman group is fronted by a successful whisky distillery, led by “Champagne” (Jeff Bridges). Other Statesman operatives include “Tequila” (Channing Tatum), “Jack Daniels” (Pedro Pascal) and tech support leader “Ginger Ale” (Halle Berry). Eggsy and Merlin travel to the U.S., where they gain support from the Statesman team to go after Poppy and her “Golden Circle” cabal. Poppy has also injected all recreation drugs with a poison for which only she the antidote, holding the world hostage. Poppy demands the President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood) make recreational drugs legal, or all users will die a gruesome death, including Princess Tilde and others close to Eggsy. The hunt for Poppy leads to many discoveries, including the reawakening an old Kingsman ally and a traitor among the heroes. I final confrontation with Poppy leads Eggsy & Co. to the brink of disaster.

The tendency for most sequels is to overemphasize what worked in the previous film, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle is no exception. It isn’t quite on par with its predecessor, even though the new installment ramps up the comedic violence. The gratuitous nature of the one-upmanship renders Kingsman: The Golden Circle that much less unique, bordering on farce, rather than the brutal satire of the first film.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle also has a much higher body count among key players, making for an untidy plot with an even messier outcome. Such commotion makes the sequel a little less endearing than the first, film, too.

Still, there are enough laughs and action in Kingsman: The Golden Circle to be entertaining and fun, if not entirely memorable.

 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer

Arts+Entertainment movies movie reviews Action Espionage
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