Can I have a show of hands for those of you, beautiful readers, who enjoyed the original Kingsman: The Secret Service? Awesome, I see a lot of you enjoyed it. How many of you were excited for Kingsman: The Golden Circle? That’s the same lot of you. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s time for us to have a heart to heart chat. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not a good film and loses a lot of what made the original film so appealing. Please note that there are some minor spoilers in this review so read further at your own discretion.
Guys, I’m unfortunately about to blow this film up. I say this because I’m having a very hard time finding what I really enjoyed with Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Director Matthew Vaughn created essentially a classic for the action spy genre with the original Kingsman: The Secret Service. The film had charm and wit while truthfully feeling like a British version of Men in Black. But that’s alright because Colin Firth and Taron Egerton are just absolutely fantastic throughout. So, then, it shouldn’t be too hard to build upon that original, right? Right? Unfortunately, movies are harder to make than we realize. Whether via some tampering done by Fox or via Matthew Vaughn being unsure of what to do with this sequel, what we have is a mess of a film that does a whole lot of nothing in a very long span of time.
I wish I could get into extreme spoiler territory but I’m told that the rest of Article Asylum would force me to review The Emoji Movie so I’ll do my best to keep important things quiet, at least for the sake of my own sanity. The issues begin with the story. The concept of a drug cartel infecting the world’s drug supply is a bit goofy but it’s only the start of my issues. Too many times in the film do the characters go to a specific location looking for a specific thing only for something to happen to make being in that location useless. I felt like the characters were just meanderingly aimlessly throughout the plot waiting for the next thing to happen. I had to suspend my disbelief one too many times in this film. There are a handful of subplot stories that are absolutely useless and even when they have a resolution they mean nothing. The action was fantastic! But it absolutely was not enough to save this story, which was a boring slog.
The CGI looked rubber-bandy in a lot of these fight scenes which distracted from the action a lot of the time. This film is unnecessarily overstuffed with content that is just half-baked in concept. It tries to do a little bit of everything yet fails at mostly everything. If nothing I’ve said makes sense, then I apologize, but to go into further detail would result in extreme spoilers. Dialogue came across as way too campy although the jokes were funny. This had to have been one of the weakest scripts I’ve ever seen as it made all of the actors, except for a handful, useless and, dare I say, idiotic.
Taron Egerton is the best thing about this film. I think he has the chops to be a real star and nearly every scene he was in was enjoyable. Second best is Mark Strong, who gives a pretty strong performance himself, although, the film constantly teases him having a bigger role in the film only to pull the rug out from underneath us. Everyone else seems to have no idea what they are doing. Colin Firth returning was all but spoiled to us thanks to the trailers (which apparently Matthew Vaughn tried to prevent from happening) and he is like a mindless robot throughout a portion of the film. It feels like he has no care for being in this film. There are story reasons as to why he’s the way he is but regardless he feels so bland and uninteresting compared to how he was in the first film. In one particular scene (in one of the locations where they didn’t have to be) he comes to the conclusion that something is wrong and reacts in a specific way to someone. The audience isn’t given any time or indication of this, it just happens. We are meant to be shocked but I was more confused during this scene. Channing Tatum is a huge waste in this film. He has less screen time than Jared Leto in Suicide Squad.
The Statesmen feels as if it is nothing but a mockery of Americans and I honestly feel like they were done in a way similar to how the rest of the world views Americans. It really irritated me how inept they seemed to be. The names of all of the Statesman, being that of different varieties of alcohol, was a bit cheap and less inspired as the names of those in the Kingsman. Jeff Bridges was Jeff Bridges. Julianne Moore’s Poppy was written in such an odd way that the character doesn’t seem very threatening. Her base is far from the action and she is nowhere near as hands-on as Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine was. I have no problem with a villain being somewhat of a parody or a joke but Poppy is just strange. She seems to be living in another reality yet is meant to be a brutal drug lord. It just doesn’t mix. There is a fantastic cameo, though, who plays a major part in the final action scene. This celebrity is one of the best parts of the entire film, by far. A lot of the decisions made by the leads just did not make sense which led to most of the unnecessary subplot stories.
He’s wearing a cowboy hat! Everyone laugh at the British man in the cowboy hat!If at this point you feel like I’m being extremely negative towards this film then you’d be correct. I absolutely wanted to love this film and have a good time with it but I didn’t. I was incredibly disappointed. The film continues the current Hollywood trend of taking popular classic rock tracks and working them into action bits (The intro fight scene in this film is really fun and frantic) but this leads me to a point I really want to make. Somewhere behind the scenes I feel like this film just fell apart and no matter what other reviewers may say, the fight scenes do not save this film. The entire movie feels slow and rushed at the same time. There’s a lot more I could talk about with this film (such as the extremely ham-fisted attempts at social commentary) but it would be major spoilers for the film.
Therefore I declare, with a heavy heart, that this film is INSANE. I cannot recommend it to anyone. If you enjoyed the original then maybe go see it but otherwise I’d just Redbox this one on a desperate night. This is my most disappointing film of 2017 so far.