Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Exactly What You Might Want from a Sequel
Kingsman: The Golden Circle has secured my belief that Matthew Vaughn is probably one of the best comic book movie directors working today. The film comes as a welcome relief from many of the other movies that have come out this year, such as Spider-man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, and Logan. Not because it’s necessarily better than those other films, but because there’s no spandex anywhere to be seen. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t pumped full of over the top, stylized action sequences that evoke the same ‘oohs; and ‘awes’ from audiences. In fact, most of the movie is so ridiculous, that it’s hard not to take pleasure from it.
Just like its predecessor, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a spy thriller that satirizes all the cliches we came to love from pre-Daniel Craig James Bond movies. In that regard, it’s a worthy successor to the original, even if it doesn’t really add anything new. Instead, it focuses on what worked so well to grab audiences from the first one. It might seem like the cheap way to make a sequel, but let’s face it, most sequels fail because they try to outdo the original instead of embracing it. A prime example of this would be John Wick 2. Don’t get me wrong though, this movie is very far from being on the same level as John Wick 2, but it uses the same techniques to ensure that it’s far from disappointing.
I’m not going to lie and say that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. But it is a movie that knows what it’s objective is and stays on target. Along with director Matthew Vaughn, actors Mark Strong, Colin Firth, and Taron Egerton are back to do what made the original such a fan favorite. This time though these British super spies are forced to work with their American counterparts, which include Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges. It’s great watching these two sides of the intelligence community with their own interpretations of the old saying, “manners maketh man,” pushed together and forced to work together.
Just like the first Kingsman, there is a worldwide crisis that must be stopped. This time around the movie decides to actually try to make some social commentary, which is probably its greatest weakness. With all the absurdity in the film, trying to push social and political ideology only serves to remind us of all the crap going on in the real world, when the real allure of the Kingsman films is that they’re escapism. Still, that’s a rather weak complaint when it comes right down to it. It’s too bad that’s not the only complaint, even though they’re all small, they are greater than the sum of their parts.
Despite all this though, Kingsman: The Golden Circle does a lot of things right. The fight scenes are full of over the top acrobatics and fluid choreography. There are plenty of references to the first film, including an epic fight scene seemingly filmed in only one shot. Heck, the main villain is just as absurd as the first one. They even brought back Colin Firth. It’s clear that Matthew Vaughn made some careful notes about what worked in the first movie, and really tried to give that to audiences again. At times though, it’s just a little too much. Sure the first one was about cell phones that filled people with uncontrollable rage and could only be stopped by neck implants. This time around it’s just as crazy, but it feels like it’s trying too hard to make the villain eccentric.
The final word on Kingsman: The Golden Circle is that it is a worthy sequel to the original. It captures the same spirit and overall the same qualities, even if it does slip a few times. I’ll also vouch that it’s worth the price of admission for those looking for an entertaining movie before awards season takes over the theater. Overall, it’s a solid comic book movie and a welcome reprieve before Thor: Ragnorak and Justice League hit theaters. Plus, it stars a foul-mouthed Elton John in much more than just a cameo, and there’s nothing wrong with that.