Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Posted in Reviews by - October 08, 2017
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Tedious sequel full of hyperactive hijinks and crass humour. If this working class spin on the James Bond formula had any charm to begin with, then it was built around the central master-pupil relationship between Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. Firth is confusingly resurrected for the sequel, despite being quite convincingly offed in the first film. By bringing him back (a honkingly obvious commercial decision), all sense of jeopardy goes out the window. But the film constantly blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality to such an extent that nothing here carries any weight whatsoever, which is certainly not an accusation you could label at Matthew Vaughn’s similarly comic book inspired masterpiece, Kick-Ass.¬†Egerton – who made such a strong impression in the first film, his debut feature – performs diligently, if confined by a newly adopted stiff-upper-lip and rarely afforded the luxury of adding more depth to Eggsy, his chav with a heart, aside from a stilted romance with a Swedish princess. The film starts to unravel when a rival American spy agency is introduced, known as the Statesman. They step in when a fast food-obsessed drug pusher played by Julianne Moore (hiding out in a Cambodian jungle in her own weird theme park with killer robot dogs for company) destroys the Kingsman operation in a missile attack, leaving Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong, excellent) to call upon the UK’s ‘special relationship’ for help. The Statesman use a whiskey distillery as a front for their operation and are led by Jeff Bridges who, like Moore, conducts nearly all of his scenes on the same set, and probably recorded on the same day. At least Channing Tatum earns his cheque with a decent enough introduction, before spending the rest of the film submerged in a fish tank suffering from a drug-induced coma. Perhaps the film’s most memorable impression is left by Elton John, who is supposed to feature as a celebrity cameo but winds up stealing most of the film’s funny moments. The weapons-based action and gun fu is delirious almost to the point of being abstract, and nothing quite captures the same shock or manic power as the Baptist Church massacre sequence from the first film. With the franchise already extinguishing most of its ideas, it will be interesting to see where it can go from here.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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