Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a fun, funny, original new story based on the Mark Millar comic book series, The Secret Service. If you were a fan of the first film then you will enjoy this movie as well. Director Matthew Vaughn returns alongside Taron Egerton (Eggsy), Colin Firth (Harry), and Mark Strong (Merlin) who are joined by new additions to the series, Channing Tatum (Tequila), Halle Berry (Ginger Ale), and Pedro Pascal (Whiskey).
The intermingling of action and humor is still in synchronicity with a solid story, however, some predictable story beats are repeated which knock this film down a peg. The story is not what is going to be the main selling point of this film though, the excellence in execution by the cast, the stellar action and laugh out loud moments interspersed throughout are what will be talked about as Kingsman hits theaters.
The plot is as simple and straightforward as it gets: a villainous organization, the Golden Circle, has a dastardly plot that affects millions around the globe so they pre-emptively strike against the Kingsman. The attack forces the remaining Kingsman to seek the help of their United States counterpart, The Statesman.
The most obvious plot-hole being: why does The Golden Circle only go after the Kingsman and not the Statesman, or the CIA, Mi6, the FBI or other government agencies? This is never explained at all. Nor is any rationale given about why the Kingsman were targeted in the first place.
Julianne Moore‘s Poppy, makes for a far less compelling villain than Samuel L. Jackson‘s, Russell Simmons inspired, Valentine. She has her quirks but they don’t resonate in the same manner that Valentine’s aversion to blood helped to define that character. Poppy is a drug dealer who wants to be able to return home, and her plan to force the President of the United States to pardon her is to lace the drugs that she supplies to the masses with an infection that kills those who have partaken of her good dope. The best thing to come of her plan is this catchphrase: Save Lives. Legalize!
Eggsy, the hero of the film, has matured nicely into his role as the new Galahad. The effects from losing his Patron and mentor, Harry, the prior Galahad, lingers on in Eggsy. He is driven to live up to the standard set by Harry. He has also found love with the princess he rescued from the first film. A good portion of the film’s running time is dedicated to demonstrating that the two are in love. These scenes actually enhance the story as later in the movie familiar tropes rear their head, giving the hero that extra boost of motivation to save the day.
The new additions to the franchise are less of factor than the trailers would have you think, the exception being Whiskey. Halle Berry is just…there. Channing Tatum’s role may be even less than that of Halle’s, as Tequila only serves to demonstrate the stakes of what the two organizations are facing. It is with the addition of Whiskey where the potential of the Statesman is mostly realized. Whiskey’s character is as paper thin as the other Statesman but he is the central figure in three of the best fight scenes in the film, and what a bad ass he is!
Rounding out the cast, there is a surprise cameo from a new player in the franchise who steals every scene they appear in. This person is responsible for several of the most humorous and unbelievable moments of the film.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not groundbreaking and definitely a case of more of the same, but they do it so well you will be far too entertained to notice.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle in theaters Friday, September 22!