THE COFFEE BREAK REVIEWS: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Kingsman The Golden Circle review
Does it maketh a good sequel?

Written By: Rick Masters
The original KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE came as quite the surprise to me. Id heard very little about it and other than Colin Firth being involved and a decent looking trailer I wasn’t all that excited about it. Upon the credits rolling I remember instantly looking up who the director was eager to watch more of his filmsA sign of a very good film.
Matthew Vaughn worked very closely with Guy Richie back in the late nighties and early 2000s, acting as producer on both Lock Stock & Snatchboth of which are rated incredibly highly on my favorite movies of alltime list. The style and comedy of these films shines through in Vaughns directorial debut Layer Cake back in 2004 and is most certainly still present in his latest little collection of films: THE KINGSMAN. Its this style that makes them so damn enjoyable, not taking itself too seriously and focusing on clever dialogue, fast and interesting action scenes and edited together in a sharp, energetic package with England as its backbone.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle once again focuses on Eggs Unwin, played by Taron Egerton. The Londonchavturned privately owned secret service gentleman. New villian Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), is the head of the worlds largest drug cartel posing as a pharmaceutical company, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available, which causesblah blah bladdie blah….. Honestly the story is nonsense, this is all about the explosions, fights scenes and laughs on the journey to beating the big bad lady and that’s it. If youre here for the story this isnt going to blow you away. Poppys full motivations aren’t made particularly clear at any point throughout the film and the story feels very much a copy and paste from the previous Kingsman outing. Julianne Moore also struggles to fill that gap left by the incredible performance of Samuel L. Jackson. This wouldn’t be such a big issue if they weren’t playing an almost identical role.
As I’ve just mentioned the plot is rather weak, in fact the story even argues with itself at times. Itll come as no surprise that the director who worked closely with Guy Richie doesn’t have any problems with drugs (their filmography features many films with a lot of drug references) and the film occasionally takes time out from the explosions to explain how drugs arent all that bad (much better for you than sugar would you believe! – thanks for that fact Matthew) but then later on uses the negative side of drugs as a motive for one of the characters and a few other rather jarring events that I wont ruin. It was a brave choice to deal with the war on drugs, however the the moral and social question is raised by the film and then it simply just sits on the fence. These conflicting messages ultimately left me scratching my head wondering what Vaughn was actually trying to say to me.
Other than Poppy‘s evil plan being a little too familiar to its predecessors it does feature some incredibly creative moments. After opening with an adrenaline fueled race through the streets of London the films pace pulses nicely, featuring quick witted character scenes, hilarious cameos and some great action scenes; most notably the gun fight in the snow and the recreation of Colin FirthsManners Maketh Manbar fight. Unfortunately none of them are as memorable or as fun as that famous church sequence from the original.
Taron Egerton gives another fantastic performance as Eggs and demonstrates just how strong he is as an actor, especially in some particularly touching scenes. Mark Strong returns as his tech man and the chemistry between the two is topclass. The cast also includes the return of some familiar faces from the first film which was a welcomed surprise and of course the return of Colin Firth, although the impact is somewhat weakened by the fact he was featured on all the promotional material for the film. Sadly Kingsman 2 does tease us with some big stars who essentially do very little; Channing Tatum who features heavily on its advertising is barely in it and others are criminally underutilized. These actors werent necessarily a draw for me to this film but for others this may prove to be a bigger complaint.
kingsman the golden circle
Where Kingsman shines though is in its technical aspects. The movie is rammed with energy and has this wonderfully cheesy British style running through its veins. It’s laugh out loud funny throughout its entire runtime however it’s most certainly aimed at a British audience, even going as far as poking fun at the Americans on numerous occasions. The long run-time could have easily have been chopped though to tighten a few things up.
The action scenes are undoubtedly the films main attraction and Vaughn has this fantastic ability to pull you right into the middle of the fight. You’ll find your eyes locked open in amazement as the camera sweeps around legs and over stools all the while guys are getting whipped and throttled. Freeze framing in the most painful moments so you can appreciate the sheer terror and violence of the moment.
The choreography of the fight scenes are also some of the best in Hollywood and the creativeness of some of these moments had me grinning from ear to ear. Even when the action finds itself compressed into tiny spaces (such as the back of a cab) the fight remains inventive and energetic. These very moments made the film for me and they still stand out as being some of the best action sequences I’ve witnessed since, well… the first movie.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle can simply be summed up as more of the same. It’s weak plot and lack of any real character arc means it falls short of the original by some distance but it’s unrelenting supply of energy and fun is impossible to resist. It’s loud, dirty and far from gentlemanlike.

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