Movie Review: "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"
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, bombs the locations of all the Kingsman's hideouts, bases, and agent's addresses. However, Poppy's plan does not stop there. She 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. However, it will be a long-shot at best.
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 had crazy action that was very entertaining to watch. There were a few action sequences—particularly the car fight scene in the beginning—in which had obviously sub-par CGI, but I got over this pretty quickly because of how entertaining the fight scenes were. If you have seen the first movie, then you know that the fight choreography was phenomenal. This movie was no different. There were awesome stunts that were shot in a unique way, which made the movie feel unique in addition to being entertaining.
I thought the filmmaker's played way more into this story's comic book roots, than they did with the last movie. There were some very silly and very over-the-top action sequences that made the film feel like an unrealistic, comic book type of movie. This totally worked for this movie, as it ended up being a secret agent story that used a unique tone to create a movie that was very much its own thing. This movie was not perfect, but the action was definitely 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 had a monopoly on the global drug trade. She sold marijuana, heroine, cocaine, and pretty much all of the drugs commonly sold by villains in cheesy action movies. She was at the top of food chain, so what could she possibly have wanted?
She wanted to be able to do all of this out in the open, so her plan was to hold the entire world hostage by releasing a virus across the globe, while only she had the antidote. That was her character in a nutshell. The filmmakers did the stereotypical action-movie thing by having the top villain acting unnecessarily harsh toward less important villains just so the audience knew that she was "bad". The character was very cheesy, very generic, and very lazily written, which was a combination that made the character pretty uninteresting.
Pro: Harry Hart (+4pts)
This was one of my biggest concerns going into this movie. If you have seen the previous movie, then you will understand why Harry's presence in this movie raised some questions. Here is the thing, I know this was just a movie—and a ridiculously cheesy one—so I know there would be some bizarre reason for his presence. However, I thought the filmmakers did a good job at setting up how and why this character was back. Was it realistic? Not at all, but these were not realistic movies, so it was in line with the world that had been setup so far.
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. In other words, I was worried that the character would not fit into the story naturally and that the filmmakers forcing him in here would end up being a bad move. However, the character was just as entertaining as he was in the last movie, and he even got some decent character development in this one. I had my concerns with the character's presence, but this movie was definitely better for having him in it.
Con: The Traitor (-4pts)
There was a traitor in this movie. Was 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 was a moment in the film that "hinted" at the fact that a certain someone may betray the Kingsman and the Statesman, but that hint could not have been more obvious. They pretty much show you that a specific character will eventually turn on the group. This was a very over-the-top film, but this was one area where the filmmakers could have benefited from being more subtle.
Pro: The Statesman (+6pts)
How could the filmmakers follow the previous movie? How could they give the fans what they wanted while also delivering a movie that did not feel like a lazy sequel? The filmmakers answer to these concerns was to jumble up the cast of characters. They took out some characters that were in the previous film, and added new ones. By introducing the Statesman, the filmmakers were naturally able to introduce new characters and give the film new flavor.
The Statesman were stereotypical outlaws and cowboys, but they were just as effective Kingsman. They were even more over-the-top than the Kingsman, but it was so much fun to watch all of these characters, their specialties, and how they interacted 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 liked their presence in this movie, and would certainly be excited to see more of these characters in future ones.
Con: Robot Dogs (-3pts)
In the event that you needed more proof that this movie was cheesy and over-the-top, then here it is: robot dogs. Yes, Poppy had a couple of almost impervious, mechanical, killing machines that just so happen to look like and act like dogs—because reasons. Look I get it, this movie was supposed to be based very far outside of reality, but robot dogs? They were just a little too ridiculous for me, and to make things worse, after the dogs saw some action they had to recharge in their dog-house shaped docking stations. The problem was that these dogs ended up playing an extremely minor role in the movie, so I am not sure why they got 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 have played such a minor role in the overall story.
Grade: B- (83pts)
This was a fun movie for a lot of reasons. The action was exactly what fans would be hoping for after having seen the first film. There were cool gadgets, fun characters, entertaining action choreography, and a unique filming style. With this respect, the filmmakers stayed totally in line with the type of movie that we were given with the previous film. That being said, the filmmakers introduced several entertaining new characters with the Statesman.
Unfortunately, the movie's issues came from it being so cheesy and over-the-top. The movie has absolutely ridiculous guard dogs, predictable plot twists, and a one dimensional main villain. It seemed like the filmmakers spent all their time and energy into perfecting the action and the introduction of new characters, so they ended up dropping the ball—a bit—with other aspects of the story. Luckily, while the film had its issues, its better qualities made it very entertaining. If you like cheesy action movies, with fun characters, and awesome action, then this movie will not disappoint you.