Posted Sep 21 2017

Kingsman The Golden Circle - This Movie Rocks (But Not As Much As The Last One)

Dir: Matthew Vaughn

Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Elton John, Pablo Pascal, Michael Gambon, Keith Allen

Like so many sequels, Kingsman 2 goes for way bigger, but not necessarily better. Which is not to say it doesn’t have a lot to offer. If anything, it has too much to offer. It’s unusual to say of a big budget tentpole such as this that it has one, maybe even two, set pieces too many, but Golden Circle is certainly a film crammed to the gills with outrageous event after event, and sub plot after sub plot.

Following the somewhat unexpected huge success of the first one, Matthew Vaughn and his co-writer Jane Goldman run wild like kids not only in the candy shop, but the supermarket, the department store and just about everywhere else. And the whole thing feels like a trolley dash. Julianne Moore is clearly having a good time playing both comedy and the big bad (but it’s not her finest work) as Poppy, the world’s biggest (but secret) drug supplier, who sets out to hold the entire drug-using world to ransom – an opportunity for satire here that is broadly missed. She blows up the Kingsman, but, for some reason that is never really explained, totally ignores their American counterpart, the Statesman. She also has kidnapped a very grumpy Elton John, who is no tiaras but plenty of tantrums, effing and blinding his way through the movie to great effect.

If Elton seems a little random, then he’s right at home here, as Eggsy and a resuscitated Harry (Firth) careen from one corner of the world to another – Kentucky to Columbia to the Alps to Glastonbury no less. Also, it’s the first (probably not the last) movie to use finger-fucking as a major plot point. Oh, and for those that weren’t a fan of the first film’s final “anal” gag, there are a couple of nice shout-backs to it here, not least from Elton.

Kingsman 2 (as nobody’s calling it) is a film of excess, some of which works excessively well – Eggsy’s early taxi chase through the night time streets of London, brilliantly set to the brilliant strains of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy is a great opener, as is the later use of Elton’s Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. And many of the moments work – it’s just odd to say that there are simply too many of them. To the point that they start to lose their impact towards to end, weighed down by such sub plots as a maniacal despotic president and Eggsy’s love life (though it’s nice to know the princess from that final gag last time wasn’t just a one off.)

The shock of the new has worn off from last time, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. Probably more than is good for us, or the film.

And what is it with John Denver and the year 2017? This is now his fourth plot-dominating moment in a film this year, following Free Fire, Alien Covenant and Logan Lucky. Well here he is again – but it has to be said, the combination of the brilliant Mark Strong and a Scottish-tinged Country Roads is the standout moment in this film full of many lesser ones.


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