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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Kingsman: The Golden Circle

September 19th, 2017 by Saxon Comments

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (15)
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton,  Colin Firth,  Mark Strong  & Julianne Moore
Running time: 2hrs 21mins

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

Hot on the heels of 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service comes Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman’s follow up which takes more of the crazy pills which fuelled the first entry, yet suffers from a side effect of sequel-itis.

Yes, everything is bigger and much more frantic than the first: the action kicks into top gear from the start with a punch up in a london cab which spirals into a suped-up car chase before you’ve even swallowed your first mouthful of popcorn. And this – much like every set piece the movie has to offer – is shot in the same one-single-camera-move-but-not-really style as the infamous church battle from the first film. By the end you feel quite breathless and disorientated thanks to the action pulling your eyes in several directions at once, yet this also works well as a way to pay homage to its comic book origins with its hyper-kinetic zip pans and zooms.

Unfortunately for all of its style, the substance suffers.

The story falls flat thanks to a weak villain (a wasted Julianne Moore whos 50s living nice lady schtick gets old fast) and a basic rehash of Samuel L Jackson’s plan from the first movie. Bad guy wants money, does some shady stuff to the population of earth to get it etc… She just doesn’t have the malice to induce fear with her unpredictable actions… or the kickass henchman. Her line up includes guys with golden rings burnt into their flesh, robot dogs and Elton John (no, really.) Even the plot twists, which Vaughn has been capable of delivering like a gut punch in past movies, just don’t have the sting they needed here, unless you watch The Golden Circle straight after The Secret Service.

This is still very much Eggsy’s journey though, and Taron Egerton was born to play the part of the working class foul mouth turned gentleman spy. He’s still quite rough around the edges at the beginning which gives him a chance to mature as the plot progresses. However, this didn’t pan out the way I thought it would, I assumed a reintroduced character would give him someone with less experience to mentor and learn by teaching, yet this seemed forgotten about.

The American version of the Kingsman organisation sounded like a fantastic idea on paper as it’s ripe for parody, and although we get a few laughs out of it, the Statesmen didn’t reach their full potential: Channing Tatum fans can give this a miss as, despite his front and centre appearances in the advertising, he barely appears which is a shame as his 21 Jump Street shenanigans would have made a perfect foil for Eggsy’s suave British agent (Anyone else smell a Statesman spin-off?).

And poor Halle Berry, she’s gone from masterful movies like Monster’s Ball to glorified cameos in X-Men: Days of Future Past and here she fares no better (They must be setting up a spin off, right?).

Despite it’s flaws though, I would be hard pressed to say I didn’t enjoy Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

It’s pure madness, the action scenes were highly stylised (a set piece in the snowy mountains of Italy involving a ski lift is the standout, with possibly the most hilarious punchline of the entire film) and it felt more confident in its lunacy than the first. Which is sometimes a negative as much as it is a positive. The way they dealt with Firth’s character, which I’m not going to spoil, feels more Austin Powers than Bond and drags out the pacing to a far too long 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Both Kingsman movies have given me more entertainment than the last few entries in another super spy franchise and, with some restraint applied, this is what Bond should be for a modern era, willing to accept its cliches but never openly mocking them. Someone at EON please give Matthew Vaughn a call, he’s proved himself with the Kingsman movies and X-Men: First Class to boot. If this Man of Steel sequel falls through, he’s my top choice to direct the next 007 outing.

4 out of 5 Nerds

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Stephen, or by a strange twist of fate, 'Saxon' as he has now become known as, is FTN's resident toy reviewer. He has been described by many as a 'Professional Layabout' with his hobbies consisting of Beer and Curries. Known for his dry humour and brutal honesty, his video's make for great entertainment. However, he is just a mere figment of your imagination and for all intents and purposes does not exist... Find his videos online at