2017 in Cinema:
Kingsman: The Golden Circle, 2017
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Michael Gambon
The eagerly-awaited sequel to 2014’s Kingman: The Secret Service sees the Kingsman, and all the associate buildings connected to it, destroyed by Poppy Adams’ (Julianne Moore) Golden Circle, a secret criminal organisation which profits from drug trade. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) are the only two Kingsman agents to survive and they are sent to America, to join up with the Statesman, the American version of the Kingsman.
The problem with sequels, especially with comedies, is a desire to rehash what’s been used and has been effective before (with the worst scenario being the Hangover trilogy, where Hangover 2 was exactly the same as Hangover just in a different location). Kingsman: The Golden Circle suffers from this a bit, too. The joke around Princess Tilde’s (Hanna Alstrom) gift should Eggsy save the world is re-used in two ways during this film (from Tilde herself and a variation gag from Elton John (yes, Elton John) towards Harry Hart (Colin Firth). The jokes are funny, but when they’re being re-used it takes the shine off somewhat. And I also wasn’t a major fan of Julianne Moore’s villain, as she spends the entirety of the film hidden away in a secret location (although the location looked amazing), it meant most of the time she was sitting round at a desk (when she’s not eating people (yes, eating people)) telling others what to do, whereas Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from the first interacted and moved around a lot more.
Poppy’s plan is to place a drug inside her drugs which causes a blue rash (stage 1), freak dancing (stage 2), paralysis (stage 3) and an exploding body (stage 4), and she wants drugs legalised in the United States so she can sell her product legally and move back home. The thing I did like about this film, though, is how the government was happy to pretend to do negotiations but secretly want the population murdered (as they’re all drug users so are naturally bad people). This presents three parties in this film: the Kingsman (who are fighting the villain and the president), Poppy (who just wants drugs legalised, despite threatening mass genocide to do so) and the president (who is happy for drug users to be killed). It gives the Kingsman an extra villain to compete with, and the president’s views are expressed throughout a few people in the film and it gives a nice ‘who’s on who’s side’ watching experience.
The action sequences, much like the first, are brilliant. They combine comedy, James Bond style weapons and action brilliantly. However, the shaky camera used in most of the fight scenes was quite off-putting at times. Some fights it worked, but others, especially when there was more than one person fighting, it just looked awkward and confusing. That’s the main reason its presentation (because the location settings were brilliant) but its use of shaky camera wasn’t needed.
Elton John was amazing in this film, not in terms of acting but in terms of comedy; he brilliantly fitted in to the comedy style and helped with the Kingsman soundtracks of using songs over their fighting. His appearance (constant changing of his outfits), too, was hilarious, and a brilliant surprise to see him there and be so effective.
I don’t think it was as good as Kingsman: The Golden Circle, as it did feel like it was re-using the same jokes, and I don’t understand why it needed to go to America, because no sooner were they there they were going off again, it felt like they could have kept it within England and achieved the same effect. It was still a really fun, energetic action-comedy, that suffers slightly from being a sequel.
Plot: * * * *
Acting: * * * *
Writing: * * * *
Presentation: * * * *
Overall Rating: * * * *