Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the second film in the Kingsman franchise from director Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic of the same name by Mark Millar. This new adventure continues the life of Kingsman agent Galahad (Eggsy). This time the agents of Kingsman head to the United States to join forces with Statesman, Kingsman’s American counterpart, after Kingsman’s headquarters is destroyed by a ruthless crime syndicate called “The Golden Circle.” Just like the last movie, this one is also filled with heart, crude comedy, and great over-the-top action.
It’s been a year since the events of the last movie. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has moved on to become a great spy, a good boyfriend, and an even better man than he ever could have dreamed of. But there’s a new crime syndicate on the rise, “The Golden Circle,” lead by the crazy Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore). In her own 007-type plan, she has laced all of her drugs–which include pot, cocaine, heroin, meth, etc., with a poison that starts by giving people blue veins on their hands and face, and ends with a violent, bloody death. It will kill anyone who doesn’t get the antidote in time. She wants to hold the world at ransom until they legalize every drug and begin taxing it. To ensure her success she takes out the Kingsman, destroying their headquarters all over the world and killing all their agents.
Survivors Eggsy and Merlin to travel to America and get help to stop Poppy, with help from their Kingsman cousins: The Statesman. Teaming up with Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Champagne “Champ” (Jeff Bridges) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), they must figure out where Poppy is, find the antidote, and stop her before time runs out on all the infected victims, thus leading both teams into a super action-packed spy adventure of epic proportions.
Taron Egerton is really growing as an actor and here you can really see his improvement as he continues to hone his craft. Being in scenes with great actors like Mark Strong and Colin Firth doesn’t hurt. Each of the Kingsman actors is fantastic. All bring their strength and talent to the idea of Bond-like spies. There is something special to watch with these three characters. The bond between them is very powerful and felt many times in the movie. Eggsy and his two father figures have a lot of character growth and it makes the movie that much richer.
With this new adventure we’re adding the greatness of the Statesman with their exaggerated, stereotyped American bravado. Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal are really fun in the movie. They add some new comedy, especially when it comes to massive southern jokes towards the up-tight British poshness. Jeff Bridges is hardly in the movie, but when he is, he’s great. Mostly comes in for exposition, few jokes and he’s out. Now anyone who knows me knows I can’t stand Halle Berry. She’s just terrible. But I have to say here she works. I think it’s due to her role, which is very small and sprinkled thoughout. She comes in, like Jeff Bridges, and gives exposition. But she does it in a certain way that made me like her a lot in the movie. So that’s something.
Then there’s Julianne Moore as Poppy., doing her best Bond villain shtick as an evil mastermind who attempts to take over the world in her own way. Moore is having so much fun in this movie. Her energy makes you smile as a viewer just watching her evilness on screen. Poppy is crazy. Crazy fun! She has robot dogs, robotic armed henchmen, a meat grinder for people and a fabulous base that is a homage to every great bond villain that likes using old volcanos to call home. She’s everything a great spy clichéd villain should be. Just like Samuel L. Jackson in the first movie, Moore knew exactly what movie she was making and has the time of her life doing it.
The action is bigger and superior! These are the Bond films for people who don’t really like Bond films. The action starts right at the first minute mark and never really lets up. Even when you think a scene is going to be a small comedic scene the filmmakers fool you into something, then BLAM! It starts all again. The movie ramps up the locations and action from scene to scene, ending in a massive shoot out in a climatic ending that has all the feelings.
As big and action-packed as this movie is, the movie does take a step back a little. The first movie was a surprise hit. It was tracked to do well, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the massive hit it became. Now it’s a full-fledged franchise with many films planned. Being brought to a wider audience, the movie feels toned-down just a bit. Nothing that takes away from the movie at all, but it is felt. It goes from the gonzo nature of the first installment, to having to cater to newer/wider audiences. The movie is still R-rated, and has all the violence and swearing you expect. But there’s hardly any blood despite people coming in contact with meat grinders, and the raunchiness was toned down just a bit. It’s still the same Kingsman, just with a new polish.