Kingsman: The Golden Circle REVIEW

Kingsman: The Golden Circle REVIEW

0 comments 📅20 September 2017, 11:20

The Kingsman franchise has learned its Bond lessons well. It knows it has to start with something to get the audience’s hearts racing and its opening scene sets the tone for the whole movie – but not in the way it intends.

It’s odd for a movie that does everything it can to wipe the slate clean and have these independent secret agents pick themselves up and start all over again to introduce such a blast from the past early on. But that’s almost a theme in this second movie, with a plot that has to explain the return of not one but two previous characters you weren’t expecting to see. It’s almost as if the film, like many poor sequels (think Transformers 2, with Sam Witwicky’s parents and John Turturro’s disgraced agent still somehow in the mix) just doesn’t trust itself to be a wholly new story, without all of its previous moving parts.

Despite that, the need to introduce a second spy agency gives this sequel the feel of an origin story. That’s a shame, as often the bonus of a second film is that all of the talky, explanatory stuff has already been dispensed with. This glut of exposition, introducing old friends and new partners, slows the pacing to a point where it often feels like a long time since there was any action of merit.

The visual flourishes are there, and the action sequences do hit the mark, even if there’s nothing to rival the church scene from the first film. Arguably, the Golden Circle’s most exciting sequence is over in the first five minutes (and oh, how we’ll be dreaming about powersliding through that roundabout in Victoria next time we’re queuing in traffic there). You could be forgiven for thinking that opening segment is trying to tick off as many London landmarks as it can, to make up for the shift Stateside. Shame it feels the need to step back over the pond to give an entirely untrue vision of the Glastonbury Festival (no such bar exists, we have to inform you).

Still, this is an enjoyable spy romp that drops F-bombs like a rap video and has two secret weapons concealed about its person. Channing Tatum and Julianne Moore utterly steal the show as American agent and deranged drug trafficker respectively. Tatum is the loose cannon Statesman willing to burn balls and throw down at a moment’s notice (and a scene where he struts his stuff is guaranteed to be a gif coming to your inbox soon). While Poppy’s bad puns, mashup of ’50s style and modern technology and an utterly ruthless, terrifying streak make her a fun foil for the good guys. Shame the script isn’t as willing to mince its old cast members as easily as she is her staff.

Release: 20 September 2017
From: 20th Century Fox
Format: Theatrical Release
Age Rating: 15

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