Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review   

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
September 19th, 2017

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review Embargo lifts Monday, September 18th @ 5PM EST 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) is a sequel to the 2014 hit, which brought acclaimed spy comic book series to the big screen birthing a new era in espionage adventures. But does the latest installment blow its predecessor out the water? Find out as Jordan Samuel reviews

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review  

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With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organization in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day, something that's becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.

Growing up I adored the whole spy genre because it could go any direction, with earlier 007 titles going into various locales and producing ridiculous scenarios. Modern-day takes however all relied on serious elements which took away the sense of disbelief seen in classics including Goldfinger (1963), From Russia with Love (1964) and Dr. No (1962).

Hollywood Executives are still figuring out, how to revive various almost dead spy franchises as both Spectre (2015) and Jason Bourne (2016) disappointed audiences as fewer risks were taken to keep fresh. Box office returns also dropped in comparisons to older iterations, with imagination thrown out the window for shared universes.

But that all changed with the classic James Bond-inspired Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), which brought the fun back into a stale genre. In turn avoiding dark storytelling and boring locations cluttered across espionage filmmaking for colorful villains and over the top ideas.

Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) wanted to create a spy film which didn’t take itself seriously, with obvious influences taken from various properties. Critics enjoyed the take on genre stereotype with humor being in each sequence, while also giving us popcorn-munching action and character development.

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Newcomer Taron Egerton (Eddie the Eagle) and Colin Firth (Love Actually) both delivered grand performances making a potential universe in due process, character dynamics elevated the film into franchise material with Eggsy growing into himself throughout the 2-hour runtime.

I fell in love with Matthew Vaughn's (Kick-Ass) unconventional take on the stale espionage genre, as it threw away all the baggage seen in recent 007 and Jason Bourne outings- relying on the fun elements instead of depressing plots. 2017 brings a direct follow-up to the surprise hit in Kingsman: The Golden Circle which brings the tailor shop to America, but does it work?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) is an entertaining sequel that doubles on the stylish tone and new twists, but suffers from bloated storytelling with jokes failing to impact audiences. The underused statesman is the biggest gripe as new cast members get thrown out the window, to rehash story elements from the predecessor.

You may be forgiven for mistakenly taking the project as the latest unreleased James Bond movie, exotic locations and sharp suits are all in Kingsman.

Unlike modern-day spy movies, there is no rogue agents and boring subplots, slow pace. Instead of those overused conventions in action thrillers, Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) from the opening relies on signature humor and insane action sequences. Explosions and silly technology take over the 2-hour run time with simply outstanding results, I enjoyed the ridiculous fun tone which is a break from the drab spy thrillers: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) doesn’t falter in providing one insane experience ending summer with a great action comedy.

While the previous installment acted as Eggsy (Taron Egerton) origin story by establishing now renown Kingsman tailor shop and the rich history with great characters.

Kingsman: Golden Circle opens up after taking down Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) with the British tailors pushed into another dire situation, threatening the entire agency as "1950s Americana" mom-ish leader to the underground golden circle Poppy (Jullian Moore) gives the Kingsman another mission as her plans to rid drug users.

Thus, providing balls to the wall storytelling which goes in various areas as Jullian Moore (Boogie Nights) steals each moment and brings Matthew Vaughn's creative ideas to life through another hyper villain.

Meanwhile Kentucky based spy agency (I’m not talking about KFC) The Statesman including Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum. They have no choice but to team up with the Kingsman resulting in a merger with clashing ideas about saving the world, I loved these dynamics as they pushed forward into new territory for the franchise.

Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) uses James Bond and Spaghetti Western stereotypes as the main differences between each agency harkening back to old school genres, costume design all elevate the overall tone with fresh paint. American stars are brushed over with no less than 30 minutes on-screen time, due to rushed pace and focus on developing the Kingsman crew.

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Fans will enjoy how the sequel further develops as Eggsy (Taron Egerton) in his journey to become a super spy, the character is discovering his inner strengths in espionage and balancing his while defeating the Kingsman current situation as drug lord Poppy. Resulting in the tailor shop needing serious help from American counterparts, as Eggsy tries to fit in with the spy agency; I loved these dynamics as the British and American humor clashes on screen with Taron taking shots at the differences.

Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) allows us to root for the role, with a large focus on pushing him closer to spy status, as Taron Egerton (Eddie the Eagle) grows into the modern-day James Bond with a great personality allowing for comedic gold and emotional pull.

The entire movie is about Eggsy (Taron Egerton) trying to balance a spy life with his current situation, as dating a princess and trying to save the world is hard work. Sequences with previous cast members have weighted impact, Merlin (Mark Strong) and he has a tight bond which is shown in the dialogue.

Taron Egerton (Eddie the Eagle) is made for the role and I’m hoping to see more from him in future installments and Hollywood projects, the kid has great talent and is needed in the industry.

Colin Firth returns as Harry Hart, after being pushed in the excellent marketing campaign providing another excellent performance despite poor script writing that doesn’t explain his resurrection properly instead brings in a silly plot device.

I don’t understand Matthew Vaughn’s (Kick-Ass) reasoning to bring back Harry Hart (Colin Firth) because it slows down the pace immensely in various scenes which limit the action hero vibe seen in the last outing. Despite these hurdles it was brilliant to see Eggsy look up to his mentor, confiding in him with regards to balancing a personal life.

Perhaps taming Colin Firth’s role in potential sequels, that would allow new cast members to get more screen-time and bring fresh blood in the franchise.

Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) appearance feels at odds with the new ideas included in The Golden Circle, I would have preferred shifting his return for a final story and focused on the American characters with more respect given to the actors

Despite obvious problems and disappointing elements, I cannot deny the fun had with Kingsman: The Golden Circle giving a few hours of enjoyment with brilliant cast members. Matthew Vaugh (Kick-Ass) brings all the joys of cinema to the masses. Stylish action is full right and center from the opening, giving fans the biggest bang for each buck: with a great adventure

It might not be the best film in a summer season, but does its job adding in new characters into an ongoing universe, definitely recommend massive popcorn bags while checking out the latest spy blast!

3/5

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