But you should still watch it.
This week’s blockbuster is undeniably clear as ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ packs the cinemas due to the anticipation of the sequel to ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’. But, does this installment hold a candle to the first film?
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now codenamed Galahad after the ‘demise’ of his mentor, Harry (Colin Firth). The film goes straight to the action as a former Kingsman trainee, Charlie (Edward Holcroft) tries to neutralize Eggsy as revenge for the harm he has done to him in the previous installment.
It is quite an intricately staged action and car chase sequence in one, still adhering to the former film’s look when it comes to the mounting of its action scenes and what a way to start the movie. Then the gorgeous villainess, Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore) is introduced as a deranged drug mogul stuck in the 50’s with a sunshiney disposition on the surface of her vicious persona. She manages to eliminate all the Kingsmen agents except for Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) which leads the two to implement the doomsday protocol, leading them to their American counterparts in Kentucky, the Statesman.
Here, they meet a group of cowboy agents, code named Tequila (Channing Tatum), Champ – short for champagne (Jeff Bridges) – and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) with Merlin’s counterpart, Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). Together they try to thwart Miss Poppy’s evil plans of world domination with drugs and an impending genocide of all drug users. Does that last statement sound familiar?
The setting is grander and so are the odds but does the runtime have to be 2 hr 30 mins? Well, there are so many more characters now with a lot of side plots which led to the film’s length but somehow the charm of the original film got muddled along the way. I have to say that the pace dipped for me after that strong act one but it did pick up in act three and finished the film strong which is why I still enjoyed it. The Kingsman series with Matthew Vaughn at the helm has created its own flavor and look when it comes to its action sequences. It is outlandish and brutal, with the a mix of romped and slow-mo’d frames sans the blood and gore, perfectly lit and shot in high key with stabilized framing. If just for that, the film is worth your time.
In addition to this, the original had the characters’ quirkiness and relationships as its emotional anchor. They tried to bring this back in the sequel by bringing back to life, Harry but used Merlin midway for Eggsy to latch on to, leading to a quite emotional end of act two. Oops, I hope I don’t spoil it for you.
Tone-wise though, it is clear how this material tries to steer away from any traces of drama, but I guess sometimes you have to, which I think is what this film lacks a bit, resulting in its emotional distance. Though, it seems like it is clear with its vision of giving a badass time at the theater using British sensibilities and dazzling visuals.
The film has its moments of brilliance though with some left of field circumstances and bizarre situations. There’s this bit about the use of a tracker that can only adhere to mucous membranes which is honestly more R16 than the film’s R13 rating. There’s also an allegory to the Philippines’s situation and its war on drugs where the POTUS takes on our president’s stand to let all the drug users perish because they deserve it. In the end though, he gets impeached for doing that and as the saying goes, what happens in the movies… hehe.
In the end, I still had a blast watching ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’. I am on the fence though, if I would consider this a recommendable film or not. Well, if you’re into event movies, then this one’s for you. It is spectacular to say the least, but, if you’re a bit too critical, then this might not meet your standards. I’m hoping they’d make it up on the third installment.
2.5/5 buckets of popcorn. ∎