Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review


​By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

​It seems, no matter if it is on an individual level or a group level, people tend to like to do things alone or with those they know well. Remember when you would hear about a group project in school, you’d immediately look at your best friend, knowing you two were inseparable? But then you’d find out the teacher was picking your team for you, and the world was suddenly so unfair. That’s how it is when countries have to play together also, and that need to form and unite as one is at the heart and center of Matthew Vaughn’s latest film: Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Picking up sometime after the first film left off, we take the fun of the original and step the game up to a whole new level. The ​Kingsman is an international intelligence agency operating at a level of discretion, and very few know of their existence. Their main objective is to keep the world safe from those who would do it harm. But when a new group known as The Golden Circle, led by CEO Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), decides to show its capabilities by eliminating the Kingsman, it is up to those who survive to reach out to their American counterparts: The Statesman. So Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) head to America, where they are met by Champagne (Jeff Bridges), Tequila (Channing Tatum), Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Poppy has a plan to destroy the world, and it’s up to the combined efforts of the Kingsman and the Statesman to find her hideout and prevent her plan from coming to fruition. This seems to be becoming a normal part of the day for Eggsy.

​What we loved about the original Kingsman was the novelty in it, how this group of super spies used their innate skills and devices (almost as if Q made them himself) in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to get the job done. The characters were lively, Samuel L. Jackson was a fun villain, and the action sequences were brutal mixed with a high level of art and choreography to bring that ever-elusive smile of awe and excitement to our faces. Thankfully, Matthew Vaughn, being the director he is, realized he didn’t need to reinvent the wheel, but just take what he had and step it up a few notches. He does more than that here. The action sequences are stepped up, the comedy remains the same though maybe slightly elevated, the addition of American counterparts adds a new dynamic to the group structure, and the villain is plenty diabolical and deliciously evil along the lines of Mr. Sam Jackson. The action sequences, as the previous film, are where the real money lies, outside of the character work put in, and these sequences definitely do not disappoint! From the opening sequences of a fight within a car, to our “friendly” meeting between Kingsman and Statesman, all the way to the monumental battle on Poppy’s private location against a horde of baddies, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is probably what people who do heroin feels like, minus the detrimental health effects.

​Taron Egerton reprises his lead role as Eggsy, and steps right back in where he left off, but with much more confidence in his abilities as a Kingsman this time around. Same British swagger still in tow, Eggsy faces a harder road to travel this time with the loss of so many co-workers. A young Kingsman in his own right, he’s forced onto his own early on with minimal support. Plus he has a few other issues outside of work he has to deal with, adding levels to his character this time around. Mark Strong takes on a different role, being placed front and center this time around through the events that transpire, and his Merlin shows that he can still function in field work. Pedro Pascal, whom you may know his better from his role as Oberyn in Game of Thrones (come back soon GoT!), ends up being the main American counterpart to pair with the Kingsman, displaying his love and pride for the good ol’ USA while trompsing around like a 70’s cowboy, equipped with his jump rope…or lasso…whatever it is. Jeff Bridges is fun as the head of the Statesman, and Halle Berry is to the Statesman as Merlin is to the Kingsman, but more like a kick ass secretary in the form of Q. As for Channing Tatum…spoiler ish alert…grab some tissues, ladies…his role is rather minimal in the film. I’m sorry. Moving on though…Julianne Moore is fun and devilish in her role as Poppy, almost like an evil child entrepreneur. She’s like what you’d get if you mixed Cersei and Joffrey but added some levity to the personality. Fun, right? And last but not least (if you haven’t seen a trailer yet, then spoiler alert), Colin Firth is back in his role as Galahad, yet not quite the Galahad we remember…you’ll see!

Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes what the original film gave and, for the most part, steps up every aspect at least a notch or two. Vaughn didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, he just took the same wheel, put some new tires on it with nicer rims and now we love it even more. The American actors were able to adapt and fit into the world Vaughn had created, and the differences between the two countries is a joy to watch and they play off of each other well. Like the first, this is a feast for the eyes, with enough visuals and locales to keep each scene feeling fresh. The soundtrack is enjoyable and fits right into each scene, enhancing at just the right times. We may wish we could have had more screen time from certain actors, but that’s just how these films play out, unfortunately. But what we do have is plenty enjoyable and a great way to bring the summer to a fitting end.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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