I loved Kingsman: The Secret Service. I thought it was a great little send up of classic British, superspy, action thrillers. It wasn’t perfect, but it was audacious, sublimely ridiculous, and very deliberately over the top. I liked that in amongst the quite innovative ADHD camerawork and visceral combat, it was a film with heart. It managed to find a decent balance, more or less. Sadly, I’m not sure I can say that about its successor – Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
I’m not sure we even really needed a sequel, if I’m being honest. Kingsman: The Golden Circle expands upon the same broad template as the first film, but echoes it poorly in almost every conceivable way. The fight scenes, whilst beautifully choreographed, really look it. They look staged and feel a little flat. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this style of action-oriented filmmaking is no longer new, but there it is. That’s why the second album usually proves so ‘difficult’.
But The Golden Circle also suffers from lacklustre villains, fairly unremarkable setpieces, and the wasting of some serious talent. Despite the script killing off most of the remaining Kingsmen early on, their American counterparts – Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, and Jeff Bridges – don’t have much to do. Perhaps in a nod to the underwritten female characters of the first film, Halle Berry’s doctor/engineer/ops director pines for a front row seat to the action. But instead of giving her the opportunity to show us why this might be a great idea, the movie sidelines her. Instead, it gives her an empty seat at the table after the death of one of Statesman’s agents.
Unlike the recruits of the first film, none of the characters in Kingsman 2 earn anything. There’s precious little progression, fewer real laughs, dubious character motivations, and everything just seems a little bit off.
That’s just me, though; Aly loved it! How about you?
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