Welcome back! This is my review for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It's the sequel to a popular spy film and action flick called Kingsman: The Secret Service. 2017 is a hugely competitive year for action films. I have a lot of things to say about this movie. Like always, I'll cover the film's strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to find out the full details.
I think it's always a good idea to start with the positive elements. My general opinion of the film is more positive than negative. First, I should probably start with a brief plot synopsis. Our protagonist named Eggsy Unwin is happy as a Kingsman, but everything goes downhill when someone destroys their headquarters and kills nearly every member of the organization. Technically, this doesn't count as a spoiler because the theatrical trailer shows this event in great detail. Anyway, Eggsy and Merlin are the sole survivors. They team up with the Statesman, the Kingsman's American counterparts. Major hijinks occur when they try to save the world from a drug cartel known as the Golden Circle.
This film is wacky and over the top. I mean that in a good way. The action scenes are so much fun and creative. You'll get to see the British gadgets and weapons from the first movie. There's also plenty of action from the American Statesmen with their cowboy lassos, pistols, and whips. I don't think this movie is going to get any recognition at the Academy Awards, but the special effects are excellent and the past pacing maintains a lot of entertainment value. The Golden Circle is stuffed with action scenes, but I don't consider that a bad thing. It's a big part of the franchise's charm. If you're going to see this film, prepare for a huge adrenaline rush.
I also thought the characters were very endearing. We get to see the Kingsman characters from the first movie like Eggsy (Taron Egerton), Sir Galahad (Colin Firth), and Merlin (Mark Strong). Collectively, they have a strong sense of teamwork and loyalty. Eggsy is a fun character who has plenty of flaws, but also a heart made of gold. Sir Galahad is still an excellent role model character, but he became damaged goods in this film to a certain extent. Those of you who saw the first Kingsman film probably don't understand why he's back in the sequel. Everything will make sense while the story progresses. Merlin is still a strong supporting character who maintains faith in their cause. I enjoyed several new characters, like the Statesman team. Agent Whisky was played by Pedro Pascal and he was awesome. He was a fun Americana caricature who kicked butt in a lot of action scenes. I also thought Halle Berry was quite good as Ginger Ale who's a tech officer on the Statesman crew. She's nerdy, compassionate, and a nice contrast to the other characters. Julianne Moore is delightful and hilarious as Poppy Adams, the main antagonist. On a surface level, she seems like a nice and bubbly lady who enjoys motifs from the 1950s. However, she's actually a drug leader, murderer, and psychopath. Basically, she wants recreational drugs to become legal and taxable. It's all about money. She's so wicked in a strange way and it totally works. Ironically, Elton John makes several appearances as himself. He's also really funny and it's probably best if I don't spoil anything else. I can't say enough good things about the characterization in this movie.
The Golden Circle has plenty of humor and wit. It's so naughty and politically incorrect, but most of the scenes aren't offensive. Some of the humor in the first movie was a tad offensive and they seemed to fix that problem in the sequel. Many of the action scenes have humorous elements. Even some of the death scenes are hilarious. The characterizations are brash and funny. You can't possibly feel bored with this movie. I'm sure you'll laugh at multiple scenes.
Like the first installment, The Golden Circle has some interesting concepts about morality. It will be very divisive for the audience because morality is a matter of interpretation. Overall, many of the characters have to make difficult choices and you might believe it's right or wrong. I won't give away the details, but you'll definitely think about it when these scenes appear. Personally, I appreciate the complex idea of morality in films. It engages the audience and makes them think on a critical level.
This film has an R rating, but it's very easy to watch. The violence is over the top, but it's not disturbing. There are some scenes with vulgar language, mild sexual content, and drug use. None of it compares to the material we see on HBO. This isn't much worse than the content we see on cable television. I consider this situation a good thing. Some films with an R rating are just violent and disturbing without any context. I guess some directors and producers enjoy making audiences uncomfortable. Nearly everything about this movie is entertaining and thank goodness.
Let's move to the less impressive elements. Unfortunately, the first movie is definitely better. It has a more substantial plot and a bigger impact. This one has some plot holes and inconsistencies. Some of the characters make odd and foolish choices that I didn't notice in the previous film. This movie is also too long. It's doesn't feel slow, but I don't understand why the film was two and a half hours long. I certainly don't believe the length was necessary for the plot. A flat two hours would be fine.
I was also flabbergasted with some of the death scenes. Apparently, Matthew Vaughn isn't afraid to kill his characters. None of the death scenes are particularly gruesome, but it's still shocking. He gets rid of some valuable and beloved characters. I'm not telling you who dies, but expect anything to happen. Supposedly, Matthew Vaughn is considering a third Kingsman film and a Statesman spinoff. Are there enough characters left to make these movies? I guess they'll figure out something.
That's a wrap for my review. How many of you guys are thinking about seeing The Golden Circle? Leave a comment and we can talk about it. I totally recommend this film. It might not be appropriate for younger viewers, but I don't understand why teenagers couldn't see it. I promise to write another cool post for next week. Be safe and have fun at the movies.
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