Possible spoilers ahead!
A lot has changed fpr Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) over the last couple of years. He’s now settled into life as a Kingsman agent, taking up the title of Agent Galahad from his fallen mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Eggsy has even moved in with his girlfriend, the Swedish Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Yes, the one who offered him something if he saved the world in the first movie.
But things change the night Eggsy’s old nemesis Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) shows up and tries to assassinate him. The attack seems to come out of nowhere, but fellow agent Roxy, (Sophie Cookson), discovers that Charlie is now working for a drug cartel known only as the Golden Circle. The organization’s leader is named Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), and she has no time for the Kingsman, so she takes them all out. Well, almost all of them.
Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) are all that remain from the Kingasman agency, so they’re forced to travel to Kentucky to meet their American counterparts, the Statesman. There they meet the Statesman’s leader, Champ (Jeff Bridges), as well as agents Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), and their tech genius, Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). But Eggsy can’t believe what he also finds at Statesman HQ: a very much still alive Harry Hart.
If you enjoyed the action in the first Kingsman movie, then you’ll love the Golden Circle. The sequel doubles down on the slick action scenes that everyone loved in the first movie. But adds enough fresh material to provide an exciting sequel. Eggsy’s cab fight scene that opens the film is just one of the highlights. My personal favorite action piece was the final battle at Poppy’s jungle hideout. That scene is aided by some very cool new gadgets that would make a certain 007 jealous.
As good as the action is, what really holds “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” together are Colin Firth and Taron Egerton. The two are better than ever, and you can see the two bring out the best in each other. Without the two of them, How and why Harry is back is explained, so don’t worry.
Anyways, these two actors are really good together, and I don’t thing the Kingsman movies would work at all. I should add Mark sTrong to that, because his Merlin was awesome this time around. However, if anyone stole the show, it had to be Elton bleeping John.
Seriously. Elton John. Go see the movie, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
For me, one of the weakest points of The Golden Circle was the film’s villain. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Julianne Moore for this, I just feel her character wasn’t as well deleoped as Valentine was in The Secret Service. Poppy doesn’t even have as cool a henchman as Valentine had in the first movie. She a charming villain for sure, but I’m still not sure what her end goal really is.
Is it to legalize all drugs? or is she just seeking fame? Your guess is as good as mine. This is where the script could have used some editing . One more thing about Poppy, what was up with her hideout? Poppy says she loves ’50s nostalgia, so she’s filled her headquarters with all sorts of 50’s era props. But the whole place is basically run by robots, even her pets are mechanical. It was just an odd mix of eras I guess.
I thought The Golden Circle was really good, but it’s not perfect. I’m not a fan of what they did with Roxy, a character I relly liked in the first Kingsman. The Golden Circle also has a somewhat unnessary sex scene that really doesn’t add much to the movie. It was as if the filmmakers were just taking advantage of the film’s R rating.
Also disappointing was the lack of screen time for Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum. I will never understand casting big names if you don’t plan to anything with them. But, a scene at the end of the film at least hints one of these issues will be addressed in a possible third installment.
The big surprise in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was the one and only, Halle Berry. She was good in this, and looked like she was having fun for a change. It was also nice to see Jeff Bridges’ chin again after all these years.
Minor complaints aside, all in all, The Golden Circle is a solid second installment in the Kingsman franchise. The film takes plenty of risks, but it makes sure to keep some of the elements that worked particularly well in the first movie. I for one, can’t wait to see what other shenanigans Eggsy and Harry get themselves into. I just hope they bring Elton John along for the ride.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” final score: B+