Kingsman The Golden Circle Movie Review: Much Ado About Nothing

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The cast of the movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Hanna Alström, Edward Holcroft
Director Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Matthew Vaughn
Kingsman: The Golden Circle movie rating: 1.5 stars

Writer-director Matthew Vaughn clearly loves his Simple, American villains. In Kingsman 1, a businessman called Valentine gifted the world with SIM cards for unlimited calling and internet, which came with a rooted chip that would blow up those who signed up, wiping out the world’s population and making a place greener. Now a drug lord called Miss Poppy, portrayed by Moore as a deranged and cheerful host of an afternoon sitcom, promises to do the same good to the world by selling tainted drugs. You see, “dead drug users” equates to “victory in the war on drugs”. The underlying assumption behind this plan for minors is the first, that much of the world is on drugs, and the second, that the President of the White House likes problems with simple solutions.

A few years ago, none of the above, from a tycoon offering unlimited calls to a president ending crazy plans, would be considered likely. Now we can give Vaughn the benefit of the doubt.

And little else.

Kingsman first worked because he was offering something new, and Colin Firth, in a Savile Row costume, saved the world. The effervescence of young Egerton gave the film a punch, allowed it to be subversive and was a sneaky joke on James Bond and his ilk, while an embrace of all that is British by a director who has been closely associated with Guy Ritchie (with little very British directorial flair).

Now Egerton is older, in an affair with a Swedish princess, and is spending the film catching up with his American counterparts. Vaughn shows his hand and his insecurity about the sequel by digging up every ghost, literally, from the first movie. Firth, whose Galahad character had been shot in the head by Valentine, returns a “freeze” with courtesy, much like a sidekick who didn’t even impress the first time around.

One can’t help but wonder if the impressive body count of The Golden Circle wouldn’t return resurrected in the third film (yes, there is a third one).

Getting back to the plot, a few years have passed since Galahad’s death, and the private super-spy agency called Kingsman, and operating out of a Savile Row tailor shop, has fallen. on a mysterious outfit called The Golden Circle. Her Miss Poppy head soon explodes all but two kings (Egerton and Strong), who discover they must turn to their counterparts in America. Across the Atlantic, a spy agency with a similar background calls itself the Statesman, and while the Kings are ruled by Arthur and named after the Knights of King Arthur, the statesmen take their names after drinks (Champagne, Whiskey, Tequila, Ginger Ale, etc.). The Kingsmen and statesmen must tackle Miss Poppy together, who has a habit of putting rivals in crushers and throwing robot dogs at them. The US president is on board with his drug addiction plan, overriding his vice president. She, moreover, is a user herself and explains that she works 20 hours a day (wow!).

Still, the fact that a lot of ambitions rest on the Kingsman franchise is clear from the star cast, which has now expanded to include Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, and Halle Berry. Even though Vaughn’s ambitions don’t go beyond putting Tatum in his underwear, resurrecting Firth in an eye patch, and dressing Elton John in a rainbow robe.

With drugs, piano, and a crazy scene for recreation, at least Elton John is clearly having fun.


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