Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Movie Review

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Summary: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
*There may be spoilers below if you haven’t seen any of the trailers or heard anything about this film.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Taron Egerton as Eggsy Unwin. Eggsy has come a long way from the young man we got to know in the first film. He is the current Galahad due to the tragedy of the first film, he’s acclimated to his new life as a Kingsman (as well as other things). He’s a gentlemen and he’s having to deal with other grownup choices and situations. It’s not like Eggsy wasn’t mature before he just had a lot more baggage then and now it’s like, he carries himself differently. It’s cool to see the change. But I thought he was a strong standout in the first film and I think he is again here, I actually think without him and without him knowing his character so well, it might not have been as good or fun. Taron Egerton is able to in this film to maintain Eggsy’s “gentlemen” side, his more “Eliza Doolittle” side and trying to live a new life. It’s all pretty interesting. I love him.
  • Julianne Moore as Poppy Adams. She is the leader of “The Golden Circle”, a secret organization and the head of a pharmaceutical company. She’s like a Susie Homemaker gone crazy in this film. Poppy has a plan to become a respected business woman in the eyes of the world, she’s been hiding out for so long that she misses being apart of the population. Julianne Moore is good, her delivery is very upbeat even when crazy things are happening and I thought Moore transcended her character because she was way better than what the material for her character was. I wish she had the chance to be more scary or more intimidating or something because I know she totally can be those things even with the type of character Poppy Adams is.
  • Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey. A Statesman secret agent. He is pretty cool, he is known for his lasso and electric lasso weapons as well as the cool gun twirling trick. He has a lot of great action scenes and he spends a lot of time working with Eggsy on this mission. He’s older so he kind of has a “wiser agent” mentality and that whole “I have more experience” etc. kind of thing but he trusts Eggsy which is also interesting. I’ve only seen Pedro Pascal in Game of Thrones so I wasn’t sure what to expect with him here but I liked him. I thought he was really cool and I couldn’t wait to see his stunts considering what I saw in the trailers.
  • Mark Strong as Merlin. He is tech support, also Eggsy’s trainer and sometimes he may be a field agent for Kingsman. Merlin is awesome. He always has something insightful to say, sometimes it’s funny and useful and other times it’s useful. He’s super smart and has taken on the role of “mentor” to Eggsy in Harry’s stead. Merlin is the one who goes with Eggsy to America to meet the Statesmen and he seems to create a bonding friendship with Ginger Ale over being the tech support. I was so sure that Mark Strong was going to be a bad guy in the first film as he’s usually always playing the bad guy in movies (or just in Matthew Vaughn’s movies) but I was quite relieved that Merlin wasn’t a bad guy. He remains loyal here and he and Taron Egerton have really good chemistry with each other. He actually works well with everyone. He has a great scene in the third act.
  • Halle Berry as Ginger Ale. She is the Statesman’s tech support and she wants to be a field agent. She is loyal to her team ,though she’s frustrated about not being able to make it onto the field, instead of just being behind the computer screen. She and Merlin manage to bond a bit over their tech support roles. I normally don’t care for Halle Berry but she was fine here, her character is likable and I think she manages to hold her own in this role.
  • Colin Firth as Harry Hart. He returns in this film after being shot in the head in the first film. He’s the former “Galahad” and Eggsy’s mentor. In this film, he starts off a bit different from the Harry we know. Colin Firth is always good though and he’s great in all that he does for this character in this film. He has a great action scene in the third act of the film.
Supporting Characters. Though everyone outside of Eggsy is technically a supporting character here, there are some who are in the movie that don’t have large roles. I also don’t want to talk about people without giving away any surprises in the film or what relevance they might have.
  • Jeff Bridges as Champagne “Champ”. He is the head of Statesman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jeff Bridges with a shaved face before and it was so weird lol and he’s  cool. Very stereotypical cowboy though.
  • Channing Tatum as Tequila. He’s a Statesmen secret agent and I am not a fan of Tatum but he’s not in the movie enough for me to dislike his character. He’s fine. He has a cool action scene when we first meet him and a funny scene in the second act.
  • Surprise Celebrity. A prisoner of Poppy Adams, he’s like an extreme version of himself. But I quite enjoyed him. Especially his little action scene in the third act. He is actually the source for a lot of the humorous moments.
The Action. I definitely think the action in this movie is fast paced, it’s fun and there is a lot of it. There are some amazing action scenes. The very first scene jumps right into the action and every time there is a large action set piece, it’s very easy to get sucked right into it. The very first scene, has that awesome stunt in it with the car, as the fight is mostly in the car. Very cool. There is also a great scene when Eggsy and Merlin first get to America, where they have a quick encounter with Agent Tequila. It was fast but it was fun. The biggest action set is in Poppyland towards the end. There is a lot of action set pieces in this film, so if you’re expecting action like the first, you get it and a bit more. Eggsy has a one on one fight with one of Poppy’s main henchmen and it’s a good fight, a lot of it is like “DIANA” but it’s still fun. I like the choreography. Eggsy already had experience from his experience in his Army training so seeing him do that coupled with what he’s learned from being in the Kingsman, it’s so graceful most times. IT’S SO COOL!!! I will talk about this in the cons too though.
The Music. The music is done by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson and it’s fun. During a lot of the fight scenes after getting to America and teaming up with the Statesman the music is Country and its so funny hearing it coupled with the fight scenes. It’s so fun to enjoy the fight with the music, especially during Whiskey’s fight scene in the snow.
Cinematography. I have to say that outside of the returning characters and the actors doing well in their roles, this is probably the biggest praise. This film looks so beautiful. George Richmond is the cinematographer and the way he shoots the locations, especially when they have traveled to other places such as the Swiss Alps, so beautiful. The festival Eggsy and Whiskey attends looked beautiful. This film just looks very good.
Emotional. The movie is actually kind of emotional. It may not be like crying emotional but it has a lot of moments where you’re upset about what happened.
Cons:
The Story. I think one of the biggest problems with the movie is the story. Not that it doesn’t make sense but it’s all over the place. There’s so much going on in this movie. There’s the main plot with Poppy, there is Harry’s storyline, there is a storyline with Eggsy, almost each agent from Statesman have little subplots and the heart of the movie just gets lost in the shuffle. Subplots aren’t always bad but they’re crowding when you have a film like this. In the first one, you cared about Eggsy’s family because he cared for them and we got to see a lot of what was going on with his family and you wanted them to be safe considering their circumstances. Here, he has someone else to care about and while I was like “aww” when they were affected by the drugs, I was more invested in Eggsy’s reaction instead of what was actually happening to that person. They weren’t developed enough for me by themselves to care. It was more like “aww, Eggsy is gonna be sad”.
The Villain. A film sometimes is only as good as its antagonist but here… eh. She’s so away from everyone else that she doesn’t feel like much of a threat. Valentine was around, he was doing press and what not, using his platform in plain sight whereas she couldn’t do that and his threats were felt because he was there. But she’s just holed up in her little 1950’s Poppyland. The only people I felt she really posed a threat too is her subordinates and her celebrity hostage. The only time her threat is felt is when someone was exposed to her virus in some drug they took or smoked and someone else is worried about them. It just felt superficial and I feel like she could have been just as upfront and personal as Valentine was. I kind of wanted the hamburger thing to be a thing I feel like that would have been more menacing and it would have been a thing about fast food or meat or something lol.
The Action. A lot of this is for the action, there’s a lot going on in the action. While it’s fun and entertaining to watch there are times where it feels jumpy. In the first film it was over the top but it worked, for this one, they really went for it and it didn’t always work. The whole style of filming where the camera is spinning around the action (most evident in the Church scene from the first one) is used a lot here and while the action itself is fun and I’m like aye it’s still kind of annoying.
Slow Moments. While this film also has some good moments, there are a few times where it feels like it just halted. The first one is fast paced and even in the non action moments or the non spy moments, it was still interesting to watch and this one has a few moments where I’m like “okay, that’s cool”.
Sequelitis. This film suffers what a lot of sequels do, where they try to be bigger and better than the first one, they try to take what made the first one fresh and original and expand on that but go to far where it just feels overdone and cheap *looking at you Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2* and that’s what this film suffers from. It’s trying to hard to be better than the first one that it’s not. For example, there is already some crazy stuff that happens but there’s this one scene at the festival and I just wondered why they couldn’t just make the girl ingest the tracker. You’ll know what I’m talking about. It was so uncomfortable that Taron didn’t even want to do it lol. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a sequel where the character has already adapted to their new lifestyle, or are in their new job venture. It’s always fun learning about it or watching the character become whatever it is, but once they’re there it has to remain interesting and sometimes it’s not. But anyways, this film could have kept what made the first one so original, surprising and fresh and just pumped more heart into it instead of pumping steroids.
Overall, I did like this film, it was fun to watch and I enjoyed it because I love Eggsy, Harry and Merlin. I liked the characters enough, I thought the actors did well in their roles. Taron Egerton was definitely a standout as he understands his character so well that he just holds the film together. He’s funny, he’s handsome, he can play all sides of his character well and I’m interested to see where he goes next. I think the action is fun to watch, it’s over the top but it’s still fun, plus coupled with the music choices it makes me feel energized watching it. The look of this film is absolutely gorgeous, all the locations look crisp like I was right there with the characters. I like the celebrity guest, they were fantastic and funny. However, this film does suffer from the “sequelitis” in which it tries to be better than the first one, by being bigger, better and more outrageous and it doesn’t succeed, it just feels like it’s trying too hard. The villain character wasn’t very interesting, menacing or fearsome even though Julianne Moore was really great at playing the character. The story is also very crowded. But I overall enjoyed the movie.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars.
Are you going to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle?
What is your favorite SPY movie?
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to keep an eye out for future reviews and other writings on my blog.
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