Taron Egerton is back as
Eggsy Galahad, secret service agent supreme, in Matthew Vaughn‘s followup to his 2014 action spy comedy.
When a deadly secret society devastates the Kingsman organization, Eggsy is left to pick up the pieces with the help of fellow agent Merlin (Mark Strong). On the agenda for our younger and cooler James Bond: Figure out who The Golden Circle are and what they want, and stop their evil plan. Try to put the pieces of the Kingsman organization back together. And impress his princess girlfriend’s parents.
Colin Firth surprisingly reprises his role as Eggsy’s mentor despite looking quite deceased the last time we saw him. Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Pedro Pascal appear as members of the American counterpart to the Kingsman organization, while Julianne Moore delightfully devours the scenery as a delectably over the top super villain. Elton John appears as himself, stealing the show on multiple occasions.
Lest you forget just how insane the action can be in this franchise, the movie starts with a high octane acrobatic car chase battle that defies physics. At one glorious point you might even wonder if you’ve accidentally wandered into the non-existent Fast and Furious: London Drift instead. After a moment to catch our breath, we continue with this universe that is a wonderful blend of satire and homage to the action spy thriller genre.
With moments that skewer the film genre as well as topical issues like the war on drugs, the writing is whip-smart at times with a comedic crackle that has you laughing as well as nodding your head. This movie even manages to make the whole “gotta sleep with the enemy to save the world” trope seem almost logical, in its own bizarre fashion. The high level of comedy and commentary ended up being a bit of a detriment for me, though – the audience was reacting so loudly that I often missed the next line. I guess that’s a good problem to have though.
The line from point A to B is fairly straight and unsurprising – the plot has a number of holes that may or may not have been intentional, and the surprises are mostly obviously set up before hand. That’s hardly the point, though, as the entertainment value packed into the space between beginning and end are really what matters. The revelation about the POTUS (Bruce Greenwood), the moment we meet Moore’s Poppy, the reunion with Colin Firth, and laser lassos are what make this slick and rollicking adventure so much fun.
While it does wrestle with predictability and a run-time that could have perhaps used some pruning, The Golden Circle is an over the top and worthy sequel. If you enjoyed the first film, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster says:
“A bit long, but worth it. You can really tell that everyone had a lot of fun making it. Also, never thought I’d say the words ‘Elton John fight scene.'”
My rating: Four out of five hats
Kingsman: The Golden Circle sneaks into 4,003 theaters, including IMAX, September 22