“Manners Maketh Man”
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the latest directorial effort from Matthew Vaughn, who previously directed 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service (This is also actually the first time Vaughn returns to a franchise to direct the sequel). The film follows Eggsy Codename Galahad (Played By Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Played by Mark Strong) as they try to deal with the fallout from an attack by the enigmatic underground organization known as The Golden Circle. To do so, they enact their doomsday protocol, leading to their partnership with the U.S equivalent of their organization: The Statesman. Add to that Harry Hart (played by Colin Firth) returning from seemingly being killed in the last film, and you have what sounds like a pretty compelling sequel. Does Vaughn pull it off? The Answer is, sort of.
Matthew Vaughn returns not only to the directors chair, but also once again shares writing credits with Jane Goldman, who had previously written The Secret Service with Vaughn back in 2015. On and off camera, Kingsman: The Golden Circle stuck to what was familiar to it and what made the first film work so great, and that is probably one of it’s biggest problems. While overall managing to bring back the goods of over the top action and stylistic directing from Vaughn, it also falters in terms of character development and story, trying to tick to outlandish familiarity of the first without a real focus on the plot of the film. However, let’s talk about what’s good about the film first.
George Richmond returns as cinematographer from The Secret Service to do some more stellar work in The Golden Circle, with stylistic slo-mo and action being choreographed and shot in the most interesting ways possible. Throughout the film, we are treated to one gorgeous action scene after another, and the sheer madness and creativity flowing through the screen will have you at the edge of your seat. It should go without saying that the action in this film is top notch, and I expect Nothing less form Vaughn and Co. in that department. Richmond also excels at shooting the gorgeous backdrops that the film takes place in, and overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a very well shot film.
In terms of Characters, while there may be some lacking, there are certainly those that don’t. Egerton as Eggsy beings back all the charm and wit that was introduced in the first film, and his character is given some interesting developments that make the story more compelling from his point of view. Mark Strong gives a strong (pun intended) turn in his role as Merlin, the gadget/tech guy of the Kingsman, and although his character isn’t given that much action, his arc in this movie is probably one of the best ones and is the second strongest performance in the film, only shadowed by Colin Firth, playing Harry Hart aka Galahad. Firth no doubt has a lot of interesting material to work with in this film, and every second he is on screen is so much fun to watch. Firth is able to show a new side to his character that has never been seen before, and is the strongest aspect of the film. Julianne Moore, who plays the villain Poppy, is a well developed antagonist who plays a convincing and legitimate threat to the Kingsman. The Golden Circle organization with she leads filled with rich development, showing the potential the film has.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much development anywhere else. The highly anticipated introduction of the Statesman surprisingly falls flat, due to almost all the members of the organization we’re introduced to getting hardly any development at all, save for Pedro Pascal’s excellently played Agent Whiskey, who is in all of the best moments on screen and nails the role of a Statesman Agent. Besides that, the Statesman are delegated to mainly background characters, serving little to no purpose to the main story other than to have a new setting for the film, and to set up some inevitable sequels. Because of this, Kingsman: The Golden Circle fails to bring anything all that interesting or new in terms of The Statesman. The story of the film has an equally interesting struggle, with on the nose political messages and imagery that at some point becomes a bit too ludicrous and takes you out of the film, questioning what is going on on the screen. Despite it’s outlandish plot and some under-developed characters, The Golden Circle still succeeds at showing the viewer a good time.
In the end, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, despite it’s narrative flaws and its not so balanced cast, is still a good time at the movies. If you’re looking for a fun time, filled with insane action and the best cameo ever from Elton John, look no further than Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It is definitely a film worth watching and a solid sequel, even if it is not as good as the original. – Ernesto Valenzuela
GRADE – 8/10 – EXCELLENT
Kingsman: The Golden Circle releases on September 22, 2017
Kingsman: The Golden Circle – With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organization in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.