“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
by Gabriel Vara
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is a an action spy comedy film and the sequel to 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The films, produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn, are based on David Gibbons and Mark Millar's comic book series: “Kingsman.” Despite having a lavish and exciting appearance, “Kingsman the Golden Circle’s” confusing plot and excessively cliche characters make the film a joyride while it lasts, but is ultimately forgettable.
The movie begins with the destruction of the headquarters of a British spy organization, known as the Kingman, and the death of all their agents with the exception of Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong). The remaining Kingsman from the first film ally with the sister spy organization, The Statesmen, to stop an evil drug-dealing corporation known as the Golden Circle, from poisoning the world's drug users. The Golden Circle is led by the psychotic mastermind, Poppy (Julianne Moore).
The film’s visuals were dazzling, and its action sequences inventive, fun and cartoonish. One of the most powerful shots in the movie and the trailer came with the destruction of the Kingsman headquarters, where a brilliant explosion came from the ground, decimating the massive building that held so much weight in the first film. The setting that stood out the most was the Statesmen headquarters, which was based on a grand whiskey distillery filled with cowboy-themed agents. However, because CGI is used so much, some scenes seem flat out fake; one such example a scene where Eggsy is kicked out of a car and through a door, but manages to skate on the door while holding onto the car bumper. While the film is meant to be wacky, scenes such as this go too far over the top.
The action sequences are what have defined the “Kingsman” franchise. Nearly every fighting scene is intense, perfectly choreographed, flowing and satisfying. The fighting style of each individual agent is personal and inventive. For example, agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) from the Statesmen uses a whip and wrangles his enemies like cattle or bulls. On the other side, Kingsman agent Galahad (Colin Firth) has a stylish and gadget-orientated style.
Outside of the visuals, “Kingsman’s” plot and characters fall short of what its predecessor left behind. With the destruction of the original Kingsman and the introduction of the Statesmen and Poppy’s organization, only a handful of characters were memorable. Agent Whiskey was a fun modern take on the lasso-wielding cowboy, but outside of his fighting, he was a simple cliche, fighting for a lost loved one. The rest of the Statesmen were also mocking stereotypes of Americans; loving nothing more than guns and liquor. However, they were a fun contradiction to the suave, suited Kingsman. The antagonist of the film, Poppy, was easily the most engaging character in the film. In the psychotic drug lord’s introduction, she orders a new recruit to throw a co-worker into a meat mincer, from which she makes a hamburger that she forces the recruit to eat. This is one example of the many shocking and unexpected scenes that the film provides. Although these characters work together beautifully, they are individually shallow and ultimately uninteresting.
“Kingsman the Golden Circle” feels more like a cinematic video game than a movie with its cartoonishly fun action sequences, and its charisma almost makes up for the subpar plot. In the end, “Kingsman” is a forgettable, yet enjoyable adventure.