Final year Filmmaking student, Harry Allen, reviews the blockbuster film Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Today I ventured out with my oldest friend to Chichester Cineworld, as we do together often to feed our film appetite. On the movie menu today was the exciting sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s 2014 spy hit Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

I was very excited going in to see this film as I am a big fan of the first one. The way it was like a parody of those old spy films (the early Bonds spring to mind); with a flamboyant baddy with a henchman with a unique way of killing somebody (hat, teeth, blade legs etc.), the gentlemanly spy with all the magnificent gadgets. The first one did that and so much more, plus the awesome action sequences. So, I went into the cinema hoping that the sequel would give me the same feeling I got from the first outing.

For me Matthew Vaughn has delivered a decent sequel that is enjoyable and equally ridiculously over the top, an action packed fun ride, like the last film, which is a good thing.
Let’s get into more details, spoiler free of course:

Let’s start from the beginning, which is always a good place to go from. Vaughn doesn’t waste any time at all chucking us back into this mental world of the Kingsman, with an awesome action scene involving
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and an old enemy in a London cab. This is a sick sequence! Let’s just say you won’t look at the London cabs the same again. Once this action scene is over you feel like you never left the world of the Kingsman.

The one thing that I really liked about this film is that even though this is a new film, it is a continuation of Eggsy and the Kingsman’s story from the last one. With most of the characters back that were introduced in the first outing. Even Eggsy’s pug JB!

As with all sequels, the world must be expanded upon and this film does that. After a disaster happens to our favourite tailor shop, courtesy of the new big baddy on the block, Poppy, the Kingsman in desperation must join forces with their whiskey making American cousins, Statesman. They’re led by Champ (Jeff Bridges) with help from his cowboy hat wearing colleagues/agents Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), the US version of Kingsman’s Q, Merlin (which is played again by Mark Strong) and Ginger (Halle Berry).

Statesman is a good edition to this world. There’s an awesome action scene of the many that are in this film, involving Whiskey that will remind you of a scene from the first one.

A negative I would say of this film, would be that I would have liked to have seen a little more of Statesman. But I have a feeling we will be seeing more of them in future films.

The Statesman is cleverly used in this film to explain how Eggsy’s mentor, Harry (Colin Firth), magically comes back from the dead after being shot in the head in the first film. I was a bit surprised when I first heard that Firth was coming back, thinking that it was a dumb idea. But I think this film did a decent job of explaining how he was able to survive. Also, the thing to remember, is that these films are not meant to be true to life. Looking at this film now, it wouldn’t have felt the same without Harry, so well done to Vaughn for having the balls to bring him back.

Now, I can’t talk about Kingsman: The Golden Circle without talking about the films villain: Poppy (Julianne Moore). At a first glance, you probably would think that she is a lovely lady, almost like a mother figure. But this is not the case with Poppy! She is a psychotic, unhinged, murderous woman with a sinister plan.

Before seeing this film, I watched a film review show, which I watch regularly. On this episode, they were sharing their brief opinion of the film and one of the panellists said something like ‘Julianne Moore must of thought that she was in an Austin powers movie instead of a Kingsman film!’ This comment did make me feel concerned going in. As the baddy is a huge part of a film of this genre. I disagree with his comment. I liked Julianne Moore as Poppy, I liked her performance and she didn’t feel out of place to me. She is an over-the-top character but so was Samuel Jackson in the last one. I think her 50s/60s inspired evil layer ‘Poppy Land’ was awesome.

Now, what’s a villain without their henchman? In the Secret Service we had a woman (Sofia Boutella) with blade legs. This time round, Poppy has a guy with a bionic arm… You may recognise him.

Taron Egerton is great in this film, as he was in the last film, which kicked off his movie career. The last action scene that involves him and Firth, and surprisingly a fair bit of Elton John (lol), was mental.

One other brief negative I would say is that I did find some of the CGI really noticeable at times. Surprisingly though, the stand out performance for me was from Mark Strong. Merlin has both funny and touching moments in this film.

Great use of music throughout the film once again.

Overall for me Kingsman: The Golden Circle was an action packed, enjoyable time at the movies. Go see it #DecentSequel

Until next time Kingsman…

Harry Allen