Kingsman ‘Secret Service’ was one of the surprise hits of 2015, exceeding Box Office expectations to earn respectable $414 million worldwide.
Kingsman ‘The Golden Circle’ sees Vaughn return to the directors chair and he sticks to what he knows, by doubling down on the movies predecessor with violence, slick action and spy genre riffs. But Vaughn also a adds enough fresh and fun elements to provide an exciting sequel.
Plot Summary: 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.
The central figure again in the plot is Eggsy (Taron Egerton) a working-class bloke who was plucked from his humble life by Kingsman spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) in The Secret Service. When Harry died saving the world, Eggsy replaced him as Kingsman’s top agent—until Poppy (Julianne Moore) turns up and destroys every Kingsman facility as part of her plan to take over the international drug trade. It’s worth noting that she would sit proudly alongside many of the actual Bond villains.
The survivors, are forced to head across to The USA, where they are brought together with a group called Statesman. Effectively the Statesman are the American equivalent of the Kingsman(but ..less refined). Statesman is secretly housed beneath a whiskey distillery, and its members are named after various beverages: Their leader is Champagne (Jeff Bridges), his right-hand man is Tequila (Channing Tatum), quartermaster Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), and Top agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Statesman spies dress like cowboys with fancy high-tech versions of old-fashioned frontier weapons like lassos and bullwhips, which pretty much defines “Only in America”
Unfortunately the Statesman are effectively little more than high profile cameos, with little screen time, and really not much to contribute. In fact it feels less of a plot driven decision, and more of a commercial move to attract American audiences. It’s a shame because there is more than enough star power in the movie already. The only effect of the Statesman is to effectively disrupt a perfectly plotted and paced first act.
This continues in both the second and third acts, where the film feels overly long and poorly paced. Thankfully, the final battle between Eggsy’s allies and Poppy’s minions pulls the audience back into the movie, and is fantastic fun. It delivers wholeheartedly on what the Kingsman franchise promises; a fast paced, violent spy spoof. This is where Vaughn is at his best, and is a showcase for his ability to direct chaotic but choreographed action scenes. Although there is the hint that we’ve seen it all before, literally in some cases.
The Golden Circle definitely continues what The Secret Service started, and is a fun ride with a few clever new elements.
Kingsman: ‘The Golden Circle’ Directed by Matthew Vaughn, and co written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman.