Review: Kingsman The Golden Circle - the humour is dirtier and the fights are longer but it’s silly and overblown
After the success of 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, British Director Matthew Vaughan and scriptwriter Jane Goldman return for this sequel following the continuing exploits of Taron Egertons secret agent Eggsy.
Now living happily with his royal girlfriend princess Tilde, Eggsy’s world is turned upside down when a devastating attack wipes out Kingsman’s headquarters in London.
Together with Mark Strong’s returning Merlin, Eggsy must seek out the help of the organisation’s American cousins The Statesmen in order to save the world from a new threat.
Pitched very much as a tongue in cheek homage to the James Bond franchise, the original Kingsman sailed close to the wind but was an enjoyable antidote to the ultra serious Bond films of late.
This follow up however falls in the trap of the second movie syndrome.
The cast is bigger, the humour is dirtier and the fights longer but ultimately that fails to equate to a better film.
With the exception of Pedro Pascal, the weighty new additions to the cast such as Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum are mostly wasted in small bit part roles.
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Vaughan’s attempts to push the boundaries are evident throughout the film, but most of them are misjudged. A Glastonbury Festival seduction scene particularly so.
The normally excellent Juliane Moore is terribly miscast as the sickly sweet villain Poppy, who never feels like a serious threat.
There are parts of the film that work, Pedro Pascal is excellent as Agent Whiskey and the fight scenes are again entertainingly inventive.
Elton John is funny in what should have been a short cameo, but just like the film, his part is unnecessarily strung out.
At two hours 20 minutes, the film feels incredibly bloated, and would have benefited from a tighter run time.
By the time you have sat through our hero’s second fight with a robot dog you’ll probably be reaching for your coat.
There are certainly enjoyable moments to be had here, but overall, this a sillier, more overblown sequel that never reaches the heights of its predecessor and with four Oscar-winning actors in its cast, it had the potential to be a whole lot better.