Style and substance
The long awaited sequel to the surprise hit Kingsman : The Secret Service based on the comic books of the same name, the action packed sequel is non stop from start to finish and gives us the characters we know and love while introducing some American counterparts who are quick to become an essential fabric of the franchise moving forward. An extremely talented cast, a lot of laughs, more action, more violence and a great villain and story catapults this sequel ahead of the original to be one of my favourite films of 2017.
The film goes straight into action with Eggsy (Taron Egerton) the chav turned Kingsman spy steps out after a long day at work and is immediately drawn into a car chase and knife fight in the back of a cab. The camera spins inside and outside of the cab recapturing the action styling from the first film. It does an outstanding job of kickstarting the film and pushing it forward for the rest of the story.
Julieanne Moore plays Poppy an isolated drug lord who is crazy with power, she builds her own street where the shops are set in the 50’s and Poppy named. However not happy with being isolated on the island Poppy injects her drugs with a poison that kills whoever takes it and holds the President of the U.S.A to ransom for the antidote. It is as outlandish as it sounds and Moore does a fantastic job conveying this villain compete with two robot killer dogs and capturing Elton John to be a permanent performer at the Poppy Theatre. I cannot convey how much I love this dynamic between Elton and Poppy.
After Poppy succeeds in destroying the Kingsman headquarters and every agents base it is up to Eggsy to travel to the USA and meet the Statesman, their USA cousins consisting of Tequila (Channing Tatum) and his boss Champ (Jeff Bridges) along with Pascal (Halle Berry) to discover their doomsday plan and help rebuild the Kingsman brand back in the UK. The usual America vs British totes come into play here but fortunately after 10 minutes they take these away and the film allows its characters to flourish and be themselves. The banter between them is great and the actors do an oustanding job of fleshing out their character arcs.
It comes as no surprise that Colin Firth is back as Harry after being killed off in the first movie, the way he is brought back is surprising and although we know he is coming back, the way in which it is done took me by surprise. The bond between Eggsy and Harry was one of my favourite components of the first film and this is echoed in the sequel and helps add a new emotional element to these characters which helps fuel the story along later in the piece.
This film delivers stunning visuals that are typical of the previous film and Vaughn’s previous work. Zipping the camera in between slow motion and frozen scenes helps keep the action grounded and not feel like it’s crazy fast and jarring like other blockbuster action films do. There is still quite a large amount of violence and too be honest is quite graphic, with lots of guns, blood and flying bullets. The film is very reminscent of a Mark Millar comic and this is what helps balance the silly fun with the heart stopping action scenes.
Kingsman : The Golden Circle is a huge over the top action film with hilariously silly over the top action scenes, a great story and outstanding performances from a very talented cast who give us one of the best action films and sequels I have ever seen. While other reviews aren’t great (and if you look at it from a traditional critic lens) you can poke so many holes in it but honestly why would you want to, after seeing the first film you know what you are getting yourself in for and the best way to experience this movie is to switch off your brain and enjoy the ride.
Kingsman : The Golden Circle is in cinemas now