Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service and stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong – all three of which were in the first movie – Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Sir Elton John (yes, that’s right!) amongst many. Following the utter destruction of The Kingsman spy organization, the two surviving members, Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong), discover they have an ally in the U.S. called The Statesman, which is the American counterpart of the British Kingsman. The two spy teams join forces in order to save the world from the villainous Poppy (Julianne Moore) and her crime syndicate, The Golden Circle.
I can definitely say I enjoyed half of this movie. The last half builds on what made the previous film so fun. The action is exciting, aesthetically pleasing and well-shot. You can see every hit so clearly and it is all really well thought out. I found the jokes landed more in the last half. Sir Elton John has an unexpectedly big role in the film and has some of the funniest lines in the movie. The film expands on Harry (Firth) and Eggsy’s relationship in the later half of the film. This is a nice continuation from the first film, and the two still have great chemistry together.
Unfortunately, the first half doesn’t live up to the second half. While it features a fun opening action sequence, the film slows down soon after and there is no feeling of urgency in the main conflict. The film lacks the intrigue the last one had. Even though Eggsy goes searching for answers about The Golden Circle, I feel like the whole organization isn’t fleshed out enough. Moore’s character pops in from time to time, but she doesn’t feel like a threat. This makes her and her crime syndicate feel hollow.
The film is bogged down by unnecessary side characters who add nothing to the story. The standout in the statement is Channing Tatum. His character has no impact on the story. He shows up and is given one action sequence, then he is quickly shuffled out of the film and doesn’t show up again until the end of the movie. The princess from the first one is brought back as Eggsy’s girlfriend, and their relationship is the focus of the first half of the film. While her presence adds conflict in Eggsy’s life, she’s only really there to add urgency to the film.
For me, the saddest part of the movie had to be Merlin’s heroic sacrifice for his long-time Kingsman partner Harry and Eggsy. It really showed that despite spending so much time behind the computer screens and lacked action, he still came out a true hero.
Despite these flaws, I came out enjoying my time watching the movie. The later half of the movie finds its footing, and by the end it brings back the charm from the first film. Elton John is surprisingly funny and is easily one of the best parts of the film. If you liked the first one you may find yourself liking this one. If the first one didn’t grab your attention, then this one will do nothing for you.
What did you think of this movie? Was it better, the same as or worse than the prequel? Which performance did you enjoy most in this movie? Mine, hands down, had to be Sir Elton John. He made me laugh so hard! Such a queen!