Kingsman: The Golden Circle review

I am late to the party on this one but I finally got out to see the sequel to the original  Kingsman which is one of my favourite movies in recent years. I was looking forward to what they could do with a sequel and had my fingers crossed it could live up to the high standard it’s predecessor set.

Kingsman 2 picks up where the last film finished and dives straight into the action. The start really does give you a taste of what the entire film is going to be, action packed and fast pace. This breathless start gets you back into the Kingsman world and reminded me of the style and flair that director Matthew Vaughn is known for.

Every shot is colourful and use of slow mo and zooming whilst the camera changes angles  within the action scenes is such a unique technique that it stands out straight away. It really is unlike anything  else I’ve seen in film since the last Kingsman film. Where in the first one I felt it was used with restraint, this time the technique is thrown at you again and again, which caused it to lose a bit of the impact it could have. Every action scene uses it, and it got a bit tired by the end for me.

Whilst the action did grow a little tired for me, the gadgets and weaponry are all brilliantly over the top and it is great fun seeing what crazy things the filmmakers have come up with this time. They take the James Bond gadget gimmick and take it to extremes which parody the legendary spy series and pay respects to it at the same time.

Plot wise, there isn’t a great deal to be said. The antagonist fulfils almost the exact same role as the previous film, this time with Julianne Moore in the role in the place of Samuel L Jackson. This is one area where the film struggle to live up to its predecessor, with Moore giving a decent but unremarkable performance. Sam Jackson was so brilliantly weird in the last film that this time round I felt we just got a standard villian with a similar plan as the last one, but without the same magnetic charisma Jackson brought to the first one.

Taron Edgerton returns as Eggsy and although there isn’t any real arc for the character, he’s still great in the role. Colin Firth returns alongside Mark Strong, and the latter of those stole the film for me. Channing Tatum, Hale Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal (Oberyn from Game of Thrones) join them as the Statesmen, essentially the American version of the Kingsmen. They are all solid even if I did feel like some parts were thrown in to set up a potential spin-off “Statesmen” film.

What we have here is a sequel that repeats the previous instalments 2nd and 3rd acts. Where the first Kingsman had us spend time.with Eggsy training and watching him.grow through the mistakes he makes, this time round he’s a undeniable badass from start to finish, and the stakes never really seem that high. The decision to bring Colin Firth back was an odd one, as the plot didn’t need him, and I think that may have been a move to get people back in rather than really to serve the purpose of the story, as I feel the films events could have played out the same without him in it.

Verdict

Kingsman The Golden Circle delivers up a tonne of good action and entertaining scenes, but without the surprise factor of the original, and with the heightened expectations placed on it, I think it fails to deliver on the promise of the franchise. It’s not a bad film by any stretch, it just isn’t half as memorable as the first.

6/10 – Solid but nothing new to see here.

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