Kingsman: The Golden Circle packs in spy-genre action and riffs, but adds enough fresh and fun elements to provide an exciting sequel.
After losing Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and saving the world, Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) has settled into life as a full-fledged Agent Kingsman, taking back the title of Agent Galahad from his fallen mentor. Now Eggsy lives in Harry’s old house with his girlfriend, Swedish Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström), and works for a secret spy organization. However, Eggsy’s old nemesis Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) surfaces and complicates the new normal. When Roxy, aka Agent Lancelot (Sophie Cookson), finds out that Charlie is working with the drug cartel known as the Golden Circle, the head of the criminal organization, Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), deals a devastating blow at the Kingsman.
As a result, Eggsy and the other Kingsman agents are forced to track down their American counterparts, the Statesman. In Kentucky, they meet Statesman frontman Champ (Jeff Bridges), as well as agents Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and their tech support, Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). Deep in the Statesman headquarters, Eggsy also meets Harry Hart, still alive, but he’s not quite the same mentor who taught Eggsy the Oxfords and the Brogues. When Poppy’s evil plan is revealed, Kingsman and Statesman must work together to save the world. However, with so much work against him and his allies – a changed Harry Hart, a potential double agent within one of the spy organizations, and a particularly incompetent US president – Eggsy has his work cut out for him.
Kingsman: the golden circle is the sequel to 2015 Kingsman: The Secret Service, bringing together the creative team behind the scenes of co-writers Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, with Vaughn also returning to the director’s chair. Vaughn also teamed up with cinematographer George Richmond and editor Eddie Hamilton (although Secret service was edited by Hamilton and Jon Harris). The first film was based on the graphic novel, Secret service, by writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Gibbons, a variation on genre spy action films like James Bond. Even if The Golden Circle deviates from the original Kingsman Comic book source material, it continues the adventures of Eggsy and the independent intelligence agency. Kingsman: the golden circle doubles the smooth action and spy genre riffs, but adds enough fresh and fun elements to provide an exciting sequel.
Like the unique combat sequences in Secret service, The Golden Circle uses exceptionally dynamic action pieces using a mix of fast-paced close-ups – on everything from characters to weapons as they move through whatever setting combat is set in – and slow motion. This mix of shots works to break the rhythm of each action scene, which increases the energy and ultimately the fun factor of those sequences. Additionally, Vaughn cleverly chooses the music again for the larger action sequences which work exceptionally well to set the tone and pace for those scenes. The combination of elements creates some truly breathtaking and thrilling action pieces that are incredibly fun to watch. There isn’t one particular fight scene that will quite define The Golden Circle of how the massacre of Harry’s church did it Secret service (although Eggsy’s cab fight scene draws closer), but Vaughn, Richmond, and Hamilton bring the same energy and fun to the action sequences of the sequel, which makes them a major force in the film.
Another force of The Golden Circle lies in the villain of the film: the charming and sweet, but psychopathic Poppy Adams. Like Valentine in Secret service, the character of Poppy – and her entire world – is created out of contradictions. Moore plays Poppy with all the disarming, upbeat confidence a woman in power needs, but the character’s plan to achieve her ultimate goal and her business practices are simply brutal. The dichotomy in Poppy’s character is what makes her so fun to watch – and, of course, Moore’s villain is insanely fun to watch. Even her hiding place is full of contradictions as she is styled with a lot of 50s nostalgia, but uses a lot of cutting edge technology, which is no better embodied than in her pair of robotic watchdogs: Bennie and Jet. Darren Gilford’s production design of Poppy Land is lush and perfectly reflects her character, uplifting all of the scenes of Poppy taking place in her world. The third act of the film, written by Vaughn and Goldman, cheats on Poppy, but for the most part the villain is a climax of The Golden Circle.
While Poppy is a well-developed and fully fleshed out villain, Statesman’s agents don’t get quite the same treatment. Granted, Tatum, Pascal and Bridges play the roles of charming gentlemen from the south exceptionally well and function perfectly as American foils like Egerton, Strong and Firth. The three Agents Statesman and their version of Merlin, Ginger Ale, are wonderful additions to Kingsman universe, but they’re somewhat seemingly cheated to prepare for the arguably superfluous third act plot twist (although this twist Is make way for a visually stunning, albeit emotionally empty, fight scene) or as a way to hold something up to a third party Kingsman movie. The Golden Circle does not commit the major sin of building a shared cinematic universe – introducing characters only for later use in the franchise – since all of the Statesman are integral to the film’s plot (and almost entirely enjoyable on screen ), but there’s a feeling Vaughn and Goldman may have held back a bit, at least partially to set the stage for a third installment.
For the majority, The Golden Circle is a solid second part of the Kingsman franchise. He takes some big risks, but makes sure to double down on items that have worked particularly well in Secret service, like the inclusion of clever nods to classic spy films – especially Bond – and frenzied action sets. Of course, not all risks are The Golden Circle bearing fruit; There are a few plot points and explanatory dialogue pieces that seemingly aim to be new versions of the spy genre tropes, but are too mundane to fully accomplish that goal. And, while one of the Secret service its greatest strengths were its freshness amid the spy and action movie genres, The Golden Circle – by definition of being a sequel – can’t shine so brightly in that regard. Corn, The Golden Circle capitalizes on its sequel status by giving a new twist to certain elements of Secret service, who works to make the world of Kingsman consistent, even if it is not quite as original and fresh as the first film.
In all, The Golden Circle is an excellent follow-up to Secret service and perfect for fans of the first Kingsman movie. He continues to develop the fascinating characters of Eggsy and Harry as established in Secret service (with a particularly memorable turn for Strong as Merlin), while also building the world of the Kingsman to include the Statesman. It is clear from The Golden Circle that Vaughn and Goldman are not done with this universe of Kingsman and Statesman, which will no doubt appeal to fans who enjoy their other brand of spy movie, but the film is sure to tell a story, for the most part. , standalone – a story that should be commended for successfully working in a stellar role for Sir Elton John (like himself). The Golden Circle proves that there is fun and fun to be had in the new adventures of Eggsy and his new generation of spy movies – and that the Kingsman franchise has serious potential for resistance.
Kingsman: the golden circle is now playing in US theaters nationwide. It is 141 minutes long and is rated R for strong violence streaks, drug content, throughout language and sexual material.
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- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)Release Date: Sep 22, 2017
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