Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"
While Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is trying to balance his life as a secret agent with his romantic life, the Kingsman are attacked by a secret organization known as the Golden Circle. The attack occurs when Poppy (Julianne Moore), the head of the Golden Circle, discovers (and bombs) the locations of all the Kingsman's hideouts, bases, and agent's addresses. As if the situation was not already bad enough, Poppy has released a worldwide virus that will kill all of the world's drug addicts (if the United States President does not meet her demands). With most of the Kingsman agency wiped out, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) travel to the United States of America to seek the aid of their cousin agency, the Statesman.
Champagne (Jeff Bridges), also known as "Champ", is the head of the Statesman and gives the Kingsman full access to all of their resources. With the help of agent Tequila (Channing Tatum), agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), and their tech specialist (Halle Berry), the Kingsman might just have a shot at stopping Poppy before she kills all of the drug addicts across the world.
The Pros & Cons
The Action (+10pts)
Harry Hart (+4pts)
The Traitor (-4pts)
The Statesman (+6pts)
Robot Dogs (-3pts)
Pro: The Action (+10pts)
Much like the first film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle has crazy action that is very entertaining to watch. There are a few action sequences (particularly the car fight scene in the beginning) in which it looked like the filmmakers used a ton of CGI, but I got over this pretty quickly because of how entertaining the fight scenes were in this film. If you have seen the first movie, then you know that the fight choreography is absolutely phenomenal. This movie is no different. There are awesome stunts that are shot in a unique way.
I thought this film played way more into it's comic book roots. There are some very silly and very over-the-top action sequences that made the film feel like a comic book type of movie. This totally worked for the film because it is a secret agent type of movie that uses a unique tone to create a very different type of action movie. This movie is not perfect, but the action was certainly entertaining.
Con: Poppy (-5pts)
Poppy (Julianne Moore) was a very one-dimensional villain. This is not exactly out of character for the Kingsman franchise, but a villain with layers is always more entertaining to watch. Poppy has a monopoly on the global drug trade. She sells marijuana, heroine, cocaine, etc. She sells anything and everything and she is at the top of the global drug trade. So what could she possibly want? She wants to be able to do all of this out in the open, so her plan is to hold the entire world hostage by releasing a virus across the globe, and only she has the antidote.
That is her character in a nutshell. The film does the stereotypical action-movie thing by having the top villain acting unnecessarily harsh towards less important villains just so the audience knows that she is "bad". She is very cheesy and very generic, which was a combination that made her uninteresting.
Pro: Harry Hart (+4pts)
This was one of my biggest concerns going into the film. If you have seen the previous movie, then you will understand why Harry's presence in this movie raises some questions. Here is the thing, I know this is a movie (and a ridiculously cheesy one), so I know there would be some bizarre reason for his presence in this film. However this movie does a good job at setting up how and why this character is back. Is it realistic? Not at all, but this film is based so far out of reality that the reasoning is totally in line with the world that has been setup in these two films.
My next concern with Harry's presence in the film was that he would be forced into the story just to have him in the film. For example: if he was not going to be in the movie, but the filmmakers wanted his character in there so they forced him in. Again, his role in the film was pretty entertaining and he got some decent character development. This movie was definitely better for having included this character.
Con: The Traitor (-4pts)
There is a traitor in this movie. Is it any of the characters in the picture above? Maybe, or maybe not. You will have to see the movie to find out, but let me just tell you that "the betrayal" could not have been more obvious. There is a moment in the film that "hints" at the fact that a certain someone may betray the Kingsman and the Statesman, but the hint could not have been more obvious. They pretty much show you that a character will eventually turn on the group. This is a very over-the-top film but this is one area where they could have benefited from being more subtle.
Pro: The Statesman (+6pts)
How can the filmmakers follow the previous movie? How can they give the fans what they want while also feeling fresh? Easy; jumble up the cast. Take out some characters from the previous film, and add new characters. This movie does that so well. By introducing the Statesman, the film is able to (naturally) introduce new characters and give the film new flavor. The Statesman are stereotypical outlaws and cowboys but they are just as effective Kingsman. They are so over-the-top but it was so much fun to watch all of these characters, their specialties, and how they interact with the Kingsman.
The filmmakers clearly wanted to avoid making a sequel that simply copied the original and by introducing the Statesman, they definitely succeeded. I would certainly be excited to see more of these characters in future films (if they survive, of course).
Con: Robot Dogs (-3pts)
If you want proof that this movie is cheesy and over-the-top, then here it is: Robot Dogs. Yes, Poppy has a couple of almost impervious, mechanical, killing machines that just so happen to look like (and act) like dogs. This was a little too over-the-top for me. I get it, this movie is supposed to be based very far outside of reality, but robot dogs? To make things worse, after the dogs see some action they have to recharge in their, dog-house shaped, docking stations.
The problem is that these dogs end up playing an extremely minor role in the film. So I wonder, why did they get so much screen time? Why was that time not spent on more character development or action? This was an over-the-top film but these dogs were too ridiculous to play such a minor role in the film.
Grade: B- (83pts)
This was a fun movie for a lot of reasons. The action is exactly what fans are hoping for after having seen the first film. There are cool gadgets, fun characters, fantastic choreography, and a great filming style. With this respect, the film stays totally in line with the type of movie that we were given with the previous film. That being said, this film introduces several new characters in the Statesman. These characters were a lot of fun to watch.
They each have their own unique flavor, which is fitting since their agent nicknames are based on alcoholic beverages. Watching all of their unique personalities and watching how they meshed with the Kingsman was largely responsible for why this movie was so entertaining. They each have their own fighting style, and specialty weapon but they fight just as well (if not better) than the Kingsman.
Unfortunately, the film's cons came from it being so cheesy and over-the-top. The film has absolutely ridiculous guard dogs, predictable plot twists, and a one dimensional villain. It seemed like the filmmakers spent all their time and energy into perfection the action and the introduction of new characters, so ended up dropping the ball (a bit) with other elements of the film.
Luckily, while the film has it's issues, it's better qualities made the film very entertaining. If you like cheesy action movies, with fun characters, and fantastic action choreography, then this movie will not disappoint you. I definitely recommend this film, because it was a fun time at the movies.