a KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE musing
This sequel to one of my favorite films of 2015, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, leaves a lot to be desired after the promise of the original. Admirably putting its characters in a new setting and having them adapt and take down new villains is one of the only interesting things that happens in THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. The original played off the suave, secret spy cliches with wit, but this new installment lets itself be overtaken by those cliches.
Everything following Eggsy (an always wonderful Taron Egerton) and Merlin (a brilliant Mark Strong) is actually interesting played with such heart, as Eggsy is going through the loss of his mentor and father figure, Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who they find out is still alive after suffering a fatal shot to the head in SECRET SERVICE. Whenever the story strays away from these three characters, all of that sentimentality is lost. GOLDEN CIRCLE is much more misogynistic and icky, with no reason for any of it. Eggsy and Merlin travel to America to request the help of the Statesmen, the U.S. version of the Kingsman, led by characters played by Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges (my god, the Statesmen are stacked…) Things get even less interesting, as the weird plot of an isolated villain (played by Julianne Moore) is contrived and carried through. The more the very long movie goes on, the hole they were digging themselves sunk deeper.
In the end, not enough risks are taken in storytelling, really intriguing developments don’t get much shine, but the action is still over the top, just as I wanted it to be. The action stayed bonkers and balls-to-the-wall, which I loved about the first movie. That, along with some extremely stirring emotional beats, made KINGSMAN worth a watch.
RATING: DIDN'T WASTE MY TIME
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)