2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service surprised a lot of us, me included, because although it was super violent – and they took that from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons comic-book escapades – it was also refreshing, funny and just plain stupid but in a bizarrely smart and original way. Does Kingsman: The Golden Circle keep those differences coming? Well, while they do get a lot of good stuff packed into The Golden Circle, it’s also a victim of its own success with famous faces aplenty and the ‘packed’ element making it all a little too busy. But before we break it down further, let’s give you some background…
After the events of The Secret Service, Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is loving life, his girlfriend and keeping things ticking over nicely but – of course – something big and bad is coming. The evil plan this time comes from Poppy (played by the ever wonderful Julianne Moore) who turns up and takes out all of the Kingsman’s headquarters, homes and agents from her secret lair in Cambodia. Her aim of all this is to take the world hostage as she’s the only person with an antidote for a virus that she’s spread through drugs that she supplies to the world. It’s your classic, and let’s face it, clichéd bad-guy/girl playing the world leaders for their own benefit move.
Whilst the plot isn’t complicated, it’s not eye-rolling but it is more than obvious and it doesn’t exactly set up a lot of tension when you know how these things play out. That being said, where The Golden Circle lacks in narrative structure, it makes up for it with action, the relationship between Colin Firth’s Harry, Mark Strong’s Merlin and Egerton’s Eggsy plus one of the finest cameo roles of all-time from Elton John, yes the Elton John.
On a popcorn level, you’ll get everything you want from this second outing from Egerton’s excellent Eggsy and he’s as charming, quick-witted and convincing as ever. One thing you have to give to director Matthew Vaughn and his team is the unique nature of the set-pieces, the occasionally gruesome violence and the ridiculously well-timed swearing. While many films refrain from the ‘fuck’, Kingsman: The Golden Circle certainly doesn’t shy away from diving into as much profanity as possible but, for some reason, it really bloody works.
As previously mentioned, the stand-out performances come from Strong, Firth and Egerton and although you’ve also got the likes of Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges involved, they’re more stock characters who may turn up in a third outing for this lot because I’d be surprised if that’s not on the cards. To summarise, The Golden Circle is fun but it lacks a little of the punch from the first, even though scenes go bigger. The problem I couldn’t shake is that instead of inventing, it tries to honour the first film too often and as it’s things we’ve seen, the impact is lost. That being said, I’d watch this again purely for Elton John because he’s the essence of all the insanity going on and fits perfectly, in a good-old-fashioned fun way.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is available on Digital Download, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on 29th January
Orde it here http://amzn.to/2DITHNV from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.