“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is Kentucky-fried chaos

Sequel pales in comparison

Let’s begin with this: As someone who absolutely loved the first “Kingsman” movie, it was in no way perfect. It had a lot of great aspects. The first movie subverted many of the James Bond-type tropes that have become more and more stale as years go on.

The comedy in the first movie was consistent and hilarious. The action scenes were memorable and awe-inspiring. And most impressive of all, it gave us one of Samuel L. Jackson’s most impressive and hilarious roles to date.

As with many spy movies, the plot can come across as very contrived, and at times, almost irrelevant. Still, its positives outweighed its flaws.

When I walked out of Shaker Square Cinemas after watching “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” with my friends, I didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, I felt incredibly satisfied with the movie, but on the other hand, I was disappointed.

I want to talk about the positives first. First of all, the actors themselves were great. Taron Egerton reprised his role as Eggsy, now with the title of Galahad, and was brilliant in that role. Additionally, Julianne Moore, while not quite on Jackson’s level, made for a hilarious villain in Poppy.

Colin Firth and Mark Strong reprised their roles as Harry and Merlin respectively. This movie also brought in new talent, such as Halle Berry as Ginger, Statesman’s equivalent to Merlin, and Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey. The movie even features Elton John as himself. All of the actors in this movie manage to get a great mix of playing the part, while also not taking it too seriously.

The other big positive was the action. One of the most memorable aspects from the first movie was the incredibly over-the-top, ridiculous fight scenes, and this sequel had them in spades.

The movie even begins immediately with a fight between Eggsy and Charlie in a car that’s racing through London’s streets. While the green screen during this fight scene is occasionally noticeable, the overall fight choreography for the entire movie is incredibly well done and created absolutely stunning visuals.

Unfortunately, not all of the movie was as good as the cast and the action.

First line of business is the humor. While the humor in this movie isn’t necessarily bad, it’s sorely lacking. The good jokes were so few and far between, they seemed almost non-existent. A lot of the jokes either fall flat or are incredibly uncomfortable. When Eggsy is about to have sex with Clara to get information, the entire scene plays as though it’s waiting for a laugh, but it’s so uncomfortable that not one person in the audience even giggled. While some of the jokes hit the mark, the humor on the whole took a nosedive between the two films.

The other disappointing aspect of the movie was its plot. While the first 20 minutes or so of the movie impress the audience—by setting up the demise of the Kingsman organization in a fairly interesting way—the story devolves throughout the rest of the movie. I don’t mean just a few small things, I mean to the point where the story becomes absurd.

First is Poppy. While Moore plays a fantastically absurd villain, the writing behind it very quickly becomes uninteresting. She has an amazing first scene, but the rest devolve to her trying to get John to play the piano for her. Even her villainous plan becomes very scattered by the end.

The last, and in my opinion most disappointing aspect of the movie is the mistreatment of many of its cast members. The movie brings in big stars, such as Channing Tatum and Halle Berry, only to ignore them for a large portion of the movie. Tatum is present for around five minutes near the beginning of the movie, then he contracts Poppy’s disease, and is essentially absent from the rest of the movie.

Halle Berry, while present for the entire movie, is relegated to obscurity. She’s mostly doing behind-the-scenes work with Merlin. She shows up now and again, but for the most part, she doesn’t do anything. However, in my opinion, the most heinous of these comes with Colin Firth. He does almost nothing until the end, and no amount of amazing final battles can change that.

Overall, even after thinking everything through, I’m still incredibly torn. Despite all of its flaws, and believe me, there are a lot, the movie still has a lot of the same charm as the first movie. While it’s inferior in most ways to the first movie, it still feels like a “Kingsman” movie. It brings absolutely insane action, and when the comedy hits, it really hits.

Overall, I would still recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed the first “Kingsman” movie. However, I would also recommend you go in with an open mind and enjoy it for what it is, not what it could have been.


Film: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Release: Sept. 22

Rating: 2.5/5