Sep 25, 2017

[Movies] Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Review

The first Kingsman movie was way more enjoyable than expected given the relativevl obscure source material and how far they took the adaptation versus the story of the original comic series. Being faithful to the source material isn't a guarantee of success and this movie is a great example of one can create a loos adaptation that does wonders for drawing in a wider audience.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the first official sequel that movie and continues to tell the story of our hero Eggsy as part of the Kingsmen. But as highly publicized in the trailers, this movie also introduces us to the Statesmen, the US counterpart independent intelligence agency. How the two groups come together is pretty much the first act of the movie but it's a clever enough one.

A good sequel understands what worked in the first movie and does its best to build on that while also introducing new ideas of a complimentary nature. And this movie managed to do that a sufficient degree to keep the movie enjoyable.

Synopsis: Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy movie written and directed by Matthew Vaughn together with co-screenwriter Jane Goldman. There is a possibility of a third movie in the franchise at this point and even a possible Statesman spin-off.

Years after the events of the first movie, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) remains with the Kingsmen and has taken up the mantle of Galahad, the seat left vacant by his mentor. One night he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a rejected Kingsman trainee who had somehow survived the "Valentine Incident of the first movie. Eggsy of course survives this attack and continues on to have dinner with his girlfriend, the Crown Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström) of Sweden whom he had rescued in the first movie.

But then the Kingsman organization is compromised and most of the active agents are killed saved for Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong), their support resource. There's nothing left for them to do but to activate their doomsday protocols, which surprisingly turns out to be a bottle of whiskey with the brand Statesman. This eventually leads them to travel to the US to find the Statesman company and eventually discover that they are another intelligence operation somehow tied to their own group.

What I Liked: The highly stylized fighting that made the first movie so enjoyable was amped up several notches in this movie that resulted in some of the craziest fight scenes I've seen in a while. Both the fight choreography and the camera direction all made for great scenes that did their best to keep the action understandable and yet still push the sense of a high energy, balls to the wall fight each and every time.

I was rather surprised by the fact that they kept the Crown Princess of Sweden in the story despite the fact she felt like a throwaway character from the first movie. She was literally just the girl willing to take it up the bum, if you get my drift, but then things continued on apparently. And it didn't feel overly far-fetched given the circumstances. So hurrah for great moments like this.

What Could Have Been Better: The movie had a lot more attention on the fighting and not so much crafting a larger narrative that made sense. It's a movie with a lot of great moments but the overall story isn't all that strong. I suppose you could argue that's to be expected from something like this, but I still a little more effort wouldn't have hurt.

You have weird bits like the unusual names for the Statesmen versus the regal names of the Kingsmen. Why are the Statesmen names related to their cover story as a brewery and not the Founding Fathers or something like that. The Kingsmen code names aren't types of shoes and suits after all - they get the knights of King Arthur! And the plot of the big bad guy doesn't make too much sense as why would an American villain take out a British intelligence group only to make demands of the President of America? How does any of this make sense?

TL;DR: Kingsman: The Golden Circle is still a fun celebration of the fan genre that does so through parody and taking things to an insane degree. The writing was weaker this time around and the Statesmen really deserve more character attention but in the end the movie is very entertaining. Thus the movie gets 4 insane CGI-empowered, multi-perspective fight scenes out of a possible 5.

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