Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, features Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton and Julianne Moore, among other big names in a seemingly endless cast list. The first film in this series was a breath of fresh air in the action genre, and its creativity allowed it to stand out as one of the year’s best. The charisma of Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson made their characters highly memorable and fun to watch. The first film delivered an enjoyable and original experience unlike its successor, as The Golden Circle is a convoluted and poorly written film that lacks the intelligence and creativity that surprised so many the first time.
The highlights of this film are within the well crafted action sequences where director Matthew Vaughn uses a distinct style to create action that is exciting to watch. The use of slow motion in the film was incredibly well done, as well as the hand to hand combat. The climactic fight scene was also very exciting and funny, but unfortunately, this incredibly disappointing second chapter is absent of more highlights.
The Golden Circle has a cast full of talented actors and utilizes almost none of them. Channing Tatum was featured heavily in the marketing for the film, but is on screen for less than ten minutes. Jeff Bridges is also barely used, which is disappointing because his character had the potential to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the film. Julianne Moore plays the very poorly written antagonist, Poppy. The film contains her to a remote, 50’s themed location, and it doesn’t work, nor make any sense. Moore is given nothing significant to do, making her character forgettable. The film has an incredibly dense running joke where Elton John plays himself and is the prisoner of our boring antagonist, but somehow, he is given more to do in this film than its principle cast.
The number of subplots is this sequel is confusing and unnecessary. They feel like filler in between action sequences. The plot line involving Colin Firth’s Harry felt incredibly out of place and ridiculous. The way he returns comes across like a cop out in order to sign one more big name actor for the sequel. The re-introduction of his character was rushed, extremely over the top, and lazy. One of the things that made the first one so good was its originality and creativeness, but the sequel feels cliché and relies too much on tropes. It was incredibly predictable and audience members will likely find themselves bored throughout most of the nearly two-and-a-half hour runtime.
Matthew Vaughn lost a lot of what made The Secret Service so enjoyable. It was something original in a tired and trope ridden genre. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a formulaic, predictable and boring film, and audiences will likely leave the theatre wondering what went wrong. This was a major misstep by Vaughn, who is usually a very good and consistent filmmaker. Hopefully he can bounce back from this laughable effort and deliver audiences with a third film worthy of the name Kingsman.
(Featured Image: Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Fox)