The following review was originally written and published by Caillou Pettis at http://dailyfilmfix.com on 9/23/17.
Writer/Director Matthew Vaughn is back once again from 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service helming a wacky, ridiculous, but oh so fun sequel. Vaughn is well aware that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is absolutely absurd on all levels, but he makes it extremely entertaining with his irreverent and unique writing style.
Taking place after the events of the first film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle shows us how much Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has learned from being in the Kingsman agency since the last time we saw him. When Eggsy pays a visit to Princess Tilde in Sweden, however, a mysterious threat launches a barrage of missiles towards the Kingsman’s Headquarters, destroying all Kingsman buildings in England. This leads Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) to the Statesman, an American based agency, similar to the Kingsman.
From here, the two Kingsman agents learn of a bizarre new threat known only as “The Golden Circle,” lead by Poppy (Julianne Moore). It is now up to the Kingsman to take down Poppy to save the world, all while having to get along with the Statesman.
The action sequences here are insane and provide a boost to the follow up to the 2015 hit. What does disappoint is how few action set-pieces there are when compared to the original. However, whenever we do see these characters in battle, it is pure eye-candy for viewers, as bullets and fists fly throughout all the action scenes, which at times, can lead to sheer ridiculousness. This certainly is not a bad thing, but I did find myself liking the action sequences from the first Kingsman film more, as the action scenes were much more believable. The Golden Circle is like an old James Bond film with its action and stylish feel.
Vaughn is also keen to poke fun at the genre by injecting crude but exceptionally good humour into this installment. Even though I never laughed out loud, there were numerous times in which I did chuckle and have a good time smirking at Eggsy’s quirks. Many moviegoers were concerned about the film’s over two hour run-time, however, the film is so much fun that I often forgot how long the film was, and felt like an hour and a half long film to me.
A big surprise in Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the appearance of none other than famous singer Elton John. His character at first is nothing more than a cameo for the first little bit, but transitions into something truly hilarious and brought a huge smile on my face as the film progressed.
Something I would have loved to see more of in the film, were the characters of Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Champagne (Jeff Bridges). Both of their performances were great and were characters you are able to get invested into, but unfortunately, we simply do not see them as one may be lead to believe.
With the absurdity level cranked up to maximum, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a wacky, and extremely fun thrill-ride that never halts on action, and its great humour. What is missing, however, is its character development with certain Statesman characters.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 141 minutes