- Directed by Matthew Vaughn
- September 18, 2017 (London) / September 20, 2017 (UK) / September 22, 2017 (US)
Having been nearly wiped out, the independent intelligence agency Kingsman turns to their brethren in the United States-the Statesmen.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is one more film that proves spy movies can be fun. With the inclusion of Elton John in what is a significant supporting role as himself, this movie gets a little sillier than the first but not to the point of being ludicrous. A fine line needs to be walked and Vaughn walks it with finesse.
This is just escapist entertainment. You are not meant to think too hard but rather just watch and enjoy. The fight scenes are as well choreographed as they were in the previous film, but I think the musical pairings they have here are much better. The songs just connect better with the scenes. The first one had to find its way while this one knows what works.
The jokes land a little better in this movie. My personal favorite is towards the finale. It comes with “Saturday Night’s Alright” when Elton John sings Wednesday rather than Saturday because in the film it is Wednesday. It was just silly and one of the highlights of Sir Elton in this film.
I am so glad Colin Firth returned as Harry. He was the heart of the last film. The Obi Wan to Taron Egerton’s Eggsy. I had no idea how they could do it, but I should have had faith given that this is a superspy film helmed by a guy that was trying to do make a fun movie from the start. And what would these movies be without Mark Strong as Merlin? Michael Gambon makes a brief appearance where he is criminally underused as the new Arthur and Sophie Cookson is barely a factor as Lancelot.
We have a well-known group as the Kingsman’s American counterparts the Statesman. Jeff Bridges is their leader Champagne “Champ”, Channing Tatum is Agent Tequila, Pedro Pascal is Agent Whiskey, and Halle Berry is Ginger Ale. That is a pretty famous cast for roles that aside from Whiskey are largely incidental.
I groaned when I heard Channing Tatum was going to be in this. I am not a fan of his at all. He’s all looks and no talent but I will say he did an okay job here though capping off the film with his character walking past the tailorshop was not the right call. He wasn’t a main character. He was a supporting character.
The Statesman are clearly a non-American’s exaggerated view of what people are like in this country. At least I hope it is exaggerated. Otherwise I am not sure what to think.
Julianne Moore is the chief villain Poppy Adams here. She is Bond type of villain taken to a somewhat comical level but her plan is just as outrageous and audacious as anything you would find in a film from Connery to Brosnan. And they toss in the outlandish method of disposing of failed lackeys for good measure. The old Bond films had the villains try to kill Bond or someone that crossed them in some complicated way and they do that here.
Poppy has become the world’s number one drug dealer and has laced her product with a virus that untreated will kill everyone rather horribly and she is blackmailing the entire world in exchange for the cure. Moore is delightfully demented as Poppy. She creates a wonderfully unhinged individual that is all fake kindness and evil.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a nice follow up to the first film. It has some of the similar beats but manages to be its own thing as well as just as entertaining as the original. If you like the old James Bond films and you loved Kingsman: The Secret Service, you will certainly like this so I say watch it!