Movie Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle
The sequel to the outrageous Kingsman: The Secret Service has finally arrived amid much anticipation. Kingsman: The Golden Circle was once again directed by Matthew Vaughn, and it continued to star Taron Egerton as Kingsman agent, Eggsy. The sequel picks up around a year after the first film and leads Eggsy to navigate a world where the Kingsman headquarters have been destroyed. It brought back Colin Firth as Harry Hart and Mark Strong as Merlin. The film also added Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Pedro Pascal to its cast.
The film begins with Eggsy being attacked by former Kingsman recruit, Charlie. They engage through an over-the-top action sequence through the streets of London, which ends with a hacking of the Kingsman system. From there, the film gives us an idea of how Eggsy’s life has changed since Valentine’s plot to take over the world was foiled. He has taken up Harry’s mantle as “Galahad.” He is now living with his girlfriend, the Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden. He also still maintains a series of close friendships, although they are unaware of his covert occupation. While Eggsy is eating dinner with Tilde and her family one evening, Charlie’s boss and head of The Golden Circle, Poppy Adams, uses the hacked information to attack all of the Kingsman bases. This results in the loss of a lot of their team, and it leaves only Eggsy and Merlin as survivors. As they follow protocol for this situation, Merlin and Eggsy are led to seek out the Statesman, who end up being their American counterparts. Together, they team up with the Statesman agents to fight against The Golden Circle, and a hilarious, action-filled adventure transpires.
First of all, Kingsman: The Secret Service was a film that took me by surprise, and I found the sequel to also be enjoyable. The outrageous, heightened comedy and action sequences that were established in the first movie continued here. I’m sure a lot of people will slam them for some of these over-the-top sequences and characterizations, but in my opinion, it fits the world that’s been established. My biggest complaint with the film is that there was not enough screen time for most of the Statesman agents. They were used to fill in Harry’s storyline, but I was really intrigued by their dynamics. I especially enjoyed Channing Tatum’s opening scene, and I felt like he was unfortunately underutilized in the film. I also did not love Julianne Moore’s character. I can handle a crazy villain, but I just thought that her character needed a little more depth.
That being said, I genuinely enjoyed the film. I think that Eggsy’s character had a lot of chances to shine, and I thought Taron Egerton did a fantastic job in giving this character more depth. Throughout the film, we find Eggsy facing a great deal of loss, and Egerton’s performance made me feel for that character. At the end of the day, this film revolved around Eggsy’s various relationships. His relationship with Tilde was a surprising element in the film, but I like how her character grounded Eggsy. He is definitely not the same kid we were introduced to at the beginning of the first film. He’s grown up and matured quite a bit, and part of that is due to Harry’s influence, but I think it can also be credited to people like Merlin and Tilde as well. His character continues to grow in this film, and his interactions with all of these characters gave the film a lot of heart.
It also completely delivers on outrageous action sequences and gives us quite a few moments to appreciate the Statesmen’s fighting skills. Pedro Pascal was quite entertaining with all of his different types of lassos, and as always, it’s good to see Harry pick up his umbrella in a fight. They did do a nod to the “manners maketh man” scene from the first one, and I appreciated the changes made to the sequence. Humor runs rampant throughout the film, and while I never thought I would say this, Elton John contributes to some of the funniest sequences.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle also surprises with its commentary on drug use. It actually presents the two different arguments for recreational drug use in its weirdly, unconventional way, which adds to the zaniness of the franchise. While I thought the sequel was still outrageously funny, parents should keep in mind that the sequel continues in the original’s footsteps with its R-rating. It’s not appropriate for children, but its exaggerated humor and actions sequences make for an exceptionally fun movie. It’s a sequel that expands the world of the Kingsman to other regions of the world, and I’m sure a third film will eventually follow in its wake.