Oct. 8, 2017
Riding on the wave of success brought on by the first film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is able to deliver the same outrageous action and humour that made its 2014 predecessor, Secret Service, a favourite for movie-goers. What makes The Golden Circle just as entertaining as Secret Service isn’t only in the film’s additional set of absurd characters and over-the-top violence, but how it’s able to fill in the emotional gap that was missing in the first film.
With the 2014 spy-comedy film Kingsman: Secret Service resulting in a smash-hit, Matthew Vaughn returns to direct the film’s 2017 sequel, which is based on the British comic-book series “Kingsman,” created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Secret Service sees Taron Egerton reprise his role as the lovable Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, who has grown to become a full on Kingsman agent. A few familiar faces return in The Golden Circle, which includes Eggsy’s mentor, Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and the tech savvy Merlin (Mark Strong). The wickedly talented Julianne Moore joins the cast as the diabolical Poppy Adams, and other stars such as Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry hop on board as well.
The Golden Circle takes place shortly after the events of Secret Service, where we have Eggsy fully committed to the Kingsman agency. After ridding the world of the evil Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) in the first film, Eggsy lives a much more comfortable life with his girlfriend, the Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alström). But when the Kingsman headquarters, along with the majority of its agents, are blown to smithereens by a wave of missiles sent out by the hand of Poppy Adams, Eggsy and Merlin are forced to seek out help from the Kingsman’s American counterpart: The Statesman.
While the film shares the same comical attitude as its precursor, it does however adopt a more serious tone with its decision to focus more on deepening relationships between characters. With the number of Kingsman agents dwindling, the film shows a more grateful side of Eggsy that we didn’t see much of in Secret Service. There are numerous heart-warming scenes weaved into the plot where we see the value that Eggsy holds for his relationships with Merlin and Hart. The end result is an abundance of emotional moments that will leave you appreciating the chemistry between characters.
Another distinction in The Golden Circle was the superhero aura to it, as Eggsy is tested in his ability to balance his personal life with his life as a spy. A lot of growth takes place in this film, as both of Eggsy’s worlds grow to become seamlessly intertwined. There are a lot of suspenseful moments in the film where Eggsy found himself deciding whether to act in the best interest of himself and his relationship with his girlfriend, or do what’s best for the entire human race. The stakes are high in this film, and Eggsy finds out that with great power comes great responsibility.
A downside to The Golden Circle was the approach that the filmmakers take with the character of Poppy Adams. Filmmakers aimed to top the level of evil set by Valentine, and Adams was constructed to be just as crazy and malicious. We see Adams kidnap Elton John and hold him hostage, and brutally turn her disobedient henchmen into hamburgers via meat grinder and then serve their remains to newly recruited members of her regime. Her wild antics felt forced and unnecessary, which resulted only in plot elements feeling out of place in the grand scheme of things.
It wouldn’t be fair however to not mention the well-executed action scenes that made the first film a fan favourite. The Golden Circle features double the amount of creative, on-point choreographed action scenes, which couldn’t be complete without all the blood and gore. The cinematography is really fun and engaging, as it throws you right in the middle of these all-out brawls that involve everything from mechanical flesh-eating dogs to bullet-proof umbrellas and electric lassos.
Overall, The Golden Circle is a fun and unconventional spy movie that is able to package just the right amount of ludicrous and drama in two hours and 21 minutes. Familiar faces are presented in new ways, while new faces only elevate the energy of this deranged world. Whether you’re a fan of the first film or not, anyone who fancies bloody action sequences that are strung together with crude humour and heart wrenching tragedies would definitely approve of The Golden Circle.