Note: This is a spoiler-free Kingsman: The Golden Circle review
It’s no secret that Hollywood is in a down period right now. A main culprit, among other things, is the prominence of the sequel. Many movie follow-ups these days are simply retreads of aspects from the original movie, most not done as well, in an attempt at a money grab. Thankfully, some sequels are still getting it right.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Kingsman on steroids; taking everything you love from the first movie, adding a bigger cast, and creating a proper good time throughout.
Credit to writer/director Matthew Vaughn and writer Jane Goldman here. They knew what worked from Kingsman: The Secret Service and stuck to it. Fortunately, they didn’t stick to it in the “here’s the same thing. Enjoy!” kind of way. Vaughn and Goldman amplified and exaggerated in a way fans of the first movie will really enjoy this time around.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is vulgar, raunchy, and inappropriate. Somehow all of those things are compliments. It’s also funny, action-packed, and exactly what you’re looking for in a night out.
At first glance, 141 minutes seems like a lot of movie. Kingsman does it in a way that is entertaining the entire time, and you’re actually left wanting more.
The action comes fast and furious, right from the opening scene. There isn’t anything that quite rivals the church scene from The Secret Service, but The Golden Circle gives it a shot during a fight scene in the jungle toward the end of the film. Plus there are a few new Bond-like gadgets to enjoy this time around.
As for the comedy, it’s exactly what you can expect if you’ve seen the first Kingsman rendition. Again credit to the writers, because they actually find a way to take it a step further in The Golden Circle. This is best showcased at the end of the movie’s opening scene and a certain moment at the Glastonbury Music Festival.
Admittedly, you would benefit from seeing the first Kingsman before seeing this edition. There are more than a few callbacks, and you’ll simply enjoy The Golden Circle more if you understand the inside jokes. The Secret Service is good anyway. Go watch it.
A Cast Fit For A Kingsman
Now, how about the cast? Egerton is back. Firth is back. Strong is back. Even Hanna Alström (that’s the Swedish princess) is back and playing a much bigger role. Now add in Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal and you’ve got yourself a party. There’s also a prominent celebrity who plays themselves I won’t mention, but they play a pretty big role in the movie and may be the funniest part of it (Don’t look it up. They’re already on IMDb).
Let’s not make any mistakes here. There are no Oscar-worthy performances in this Action/Adventure/Comedy. However, everyone in the film successfully adds to the action, adventure, and comedy. Egerton, Strong, and Firth are all back with the chemistry you would expect in a second go-round. Tatum, Bridges, Berry, and Pascal are added to the mix as Statesmen, or the United States’ version of Kingsmen. Moore fills Samuel L. Jackson’s role as the criminal mastermind.
The original Kingsmen are still the stars of the show, particularly Egerton. He seems even more comfortable in his role as Eggsy, becoming a character that can carry multiple movies within a franchise. Strong returns as the quiet and witty leader, Merlin. We also get a quality look inside some of his music preferences. Firth shows some nuance as a recovering Harry Hart, working his way back toward who he once was as a Kingsman and Eggsy’s mentor.
On the Statesman side of things, Channing Tatum actually isn’t in Kingsman: The Golden Circle too much. He does prove to be an important character by the end, however. Jeff Bridges is exactly who you’d expect him to be as Statesman leader Champ. Berry is delightful as the U.S. version of Merlin with some added ambition. Pascal portrays agent Whiskey, who proves to be as badass as Eggsy with his skills and toys.
The super-villain who is a little off has become a staple in Kingsman movies at this point. Jackson did it very well as Valentine, and Moore holds her own as Poppy. Poppy is vindictive, vengeful, quirky, and smart all at the same time. Makes for a pretty good movie villain.
Also, don’t forget. I can’t tell you about the secret celebrity who steals the whole damn show. (I’M SORRY. DON’T LOOK IT UP!)
Should I Go See Kingsman: The Golden Circle?
If you’re looking for a fun, action-packed movie with constant activity and a bit of a twisted sense of humor, there isn’t a better movie than Kingsman: The Golden Circle in the theater right now.