Highly-stylised, overstuffed and lacking the same emotion of the original, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a fun sequel that doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Jessica Ginting reviews.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the long-awaited sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, the 2015 action spy film directed by Matthew Vaughn. It takes place a year after the events of the first film, and the Kingsman agents find themselves under attack by an underground criminal organisation. Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) now must team-up with their American counterparts, Statesman.
Several new characters are introduced, with Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal bringing entertaining performances as quirky Statesman agents. Vaughn ramps up the action tenfold this time around, as the car chases get wilder, the explosions get bigger, and the weapons get even more bombastic than they were in the first movie (the electric lasso is poised to be a fan favourite). However, bigger doesn’t always translate to better. Vaughn’s hyper-stylised directing style can quickly become exhausting in a movie with a runtime of 141 minutes — that, in itself, is one of the few glaring problems with Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Overblown sequences, an overstuffed cast, as well as a runtime that drags on for far too long
What made the first film so charming was the fact that the focal relationship between Eggsy and Harry Hart (Firth) was the film’s emotional core. In the sequel, there seems to be far too many characters for them to even carve out moments of their own. Eggsy’s wide-eyed idealism and awe has also mostly faded by now, as he has become an experienced Kingsman. Some of the action scenes with bigger set pieces play out more like video game clips, where you don’t care much about the characters you’re playing with.
Eggsy’s relationship with Princess Tilde (Alström) is also developed further in this movie, making for a very sweet romantic subplot. Of course, the Kingsman movies were made initially as James Bond spoofs, so expect more cringe-worthy sex scenes (and an unexpected trip to Glastonbury festival).
Despite the new cast trying to squeeze in to get a space in the spotlight, Julianne Moore shines as their new Bond-esque villain. She possesses the same amount of eccentric charm that Samuel L. Jackson did as Valentine. Surprisingly, the film presents a lot of bold and interesting takes on current issues (and without giving too much away) will leave viewers at least appreciating the moral stances being conveyed.
Overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was a decent sequel to its predecessor, but ultimately falls short of expectations. The overblown sequences, overstuffed cast, as well as its runtime that drags on for far too long, detracts from what could’ve been a high-quality action spy flick. Here’s to hoping that they get back to basics in the future.
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