I’m starting to think we don’t need James Bond any more. Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is the Bond for the millennial era, cheeky, cool and hard as nails. The Kingsman movies take the loving approach of a homage and crank up the crazy to 11.
The Golden Circle is the second Kingsman film based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons comic books, directed again by Matthew Vaughan and scripted by him and Jane Goldman. This movie being an original tale, as there was only one comic book and they’ve already adapted that.
The whole band is back together and clearly having a whale of a time making these films. It’s like the Roger Moore era of Bond but with swearing, ultra violence and a bit less sexism.
The first Kingsman, way back in 2015 was a breath of fresh air. It seemed to come out of nowhere and blow everyone away. A new franchise with unexpectedly fresh characters played by unusually cast actors. Who’d have expected Colin Firth to be a bad ass spy?
So does the sequel live up to the first installment? Sort of. It’s not quite as good as the first, but it’s still a bloody good action romp. I think the reason these films both work so well is that the characters are incredibly well rounded. The world feels real and lived in, despite the crazy sci fi weapons and super villains. World building is a term thrown about a lot but the Kingsman universe really feels rich and open.
This second film follows Eggsy and Merlin, picking up the pieces after the Kingsman organisation is destroyed by the lovely yet evil Poppy. A drug baron out to become world famous as a businesswoman. Because in 2017, being famous is the most important thing ever. Julianne Moore doesn’t get too much to do as Poppy, but the cast is huge and she gets some very memorable moments. Our surviving Kingsmen join forces with their American equivalent Statesman, of course, to try to save the world. Fairly simple stuff, but it’d all about the journey not the destination isn’t it!?
What I liked about this movie, as I did the first, was that it has a sort of sympathetic villain. Sure, Poppy is a homicidal killer, but she’s sweet and her ambitions aren’t too nefarious. Just like how Valentine wanted to kill people to save the planet. Sure, she’s a far fetched super villain with an ego the size of the earth and an obsession with Elton John. Her robot dogs being named Bennie and Jet and not allowed to harm Elton was a great touch.
I loved seeing Colin Firth and Mark Strong back, with a nice cameo from Michael Gambon, the kingsman team full of great British actors. I won’t spoil Harry’s return but it’s not as daft as I was expecting. I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical at the idea of an American team, but Statesman were fantastic and didn’t overstay their welcome or jump the shark. Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum were all superb but I really enjoyed Pedro Pascal as Whiskey. Dry humour and believably bad-ass.
The real show stealer however, was Elton John. I’m not gonna ruin any of that, just enjoy it.
So. Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Not quite as original as the first one, but a bloody good action movie. Roll on chapter 3.
For Fans Of:
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery