I’m only appealing to my inner fanboy here. Kingsman: The Golden Circle only manages to miss the benchmark set by the first movie by 6 inches, lacking in several segments when it comes to fighting script and overall movie storytelling.
The whole plot is a deserved continuation of the first one. Eggsy faces an old foe, reintroduces the cast from the previous movie, with fans following up easily as if they had seen the original. Fight scenes were well scripted, the opening chase scenes energetic and levelled as Eggsy was fighting off his opponent.
However, the action wasn’t consistent throughout. What followed the intense fight scenes were plenty of talking and downtime, then followed by pretty much the obliteration of the entire Kingsman system and team, just like that. Almost as instant as snapping a finger. It was disheartening to see characters that the audience has built a strong liking upon, only to be wiped off the face of the Earth in the next.
This tragedy then forces the remaining Kingsman to seek help from their American partners (No prizes guessing who survived the blast), the Statesmen in order to exact revenge on the villain.
The villain in question (Poppy played by Julianne Moore) is a homesick psychopath who’s stuck in Cambodia to run her drug empire, modelling her base heavily on 50s American culture. Think the classic diners, walk-in movie theatres and you’d be spot on. Stereotype aside, Poppy brings out the same vibe as Valentine did, so the plotline is easy to absorb and understand.
While it does showcase the action scenes that we all adore and love from the first movie, the Statesmen’s involvement in taking down the antagonist was barely minimal. It’s like a fat piece of British chicken sandwich held together by some flimsy American bread. They were borderline useless and were only there to assist the Kingsman in a roundabout capacity.
One redeeming feature at least is the penultimate fight scene, choreographed to Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” with the man himself kidnapped to become Poppy’s in-house entertainment. Over the top is welcomed here, but it’s not enough to mask the fact that some of the deaths in the movie are basically pointless and could be wholly avoided had it not been used to liven the plot a little.
The sequel I’m afraid, only works to service the fans of the first. I enjoyed the first one very much, but the sequel tries too hard to better itself, alienating the other great talents of the cast to the sidelines, choosing mainly to focus on Eggsy and Harry, which is a shame, because it would’ve been a lot more gripping to see Mark Strong and Halle Berry doing a bit of wetwork instead of sitting inside the office staring at computers all day.