Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascual, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum
Runtime: 141 minutes
Normally, you would shake a tequila, not stir it.
The Kingsman franchise takes that martini and spins it multiple times like a fire poi wielder, and then serves it.
Mixogical adjectives aside, The Kingsman franchise riffs on the much more well known 007 / James Bond franchise, and does so with style and swagger, but a lot less serious than its counterpart, and the world the Kingsman resides in is more entertaining, colourful and larger than life.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is very similar in the vein of Kingsman: The Secret Service, with an equally high-flying plot- Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), callsign Galahad, is once again called upon to save the world from the charming yet utterly ruthless drug baroness-cum-1950s housewife Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), who leads a secret organization called the Golden Circle that has a monopoly on the world’s recreational drug trade. To make matters more difficult, the Kingsman organization is eliminated violently, forcing the remnants of the Kingsman to team up with their American counterparts, The Statesman (who by day brews the best goddamn whisk(e)y in Kentucky) in order to stop the Golden Circle’s diabolical plot.
Half of the fun of the Kingsman is the extremely over-the-top flavour that favours the rule of cool and this film is never short of the outlandish; from the crisp gentlemanly suits and the fanciful gadgets that Kingsman go to action in (and likewise for the statesman with all their cowboy paraphernalia). The performances are serviceably entertaining, with Pedro Pascual (who you may have seen as Oberyn Martell) is a whipper-snapping cowboy doing his best Southern Drawl. Julianne Moore plays a very weird kind of villain that switches between an extremely ruthless supervillain and then into a housewife persona at the drop of a hat (or sometimes in the same breath). Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges on the other hand feel barely used at all. The plot is delivered in a reasonably paced, easy to follow manner, and it stays at the same pace pretty much all the way, and to top it off, there are plenty of explosions and decent sequences (though not memorable in any sense of the imagination).
The film’s soundtrack is a non-stop jumble of hits, some of which are by Elton John (who himself features in the film as a fictionalized caricature of himself), and usually out of place in more serious spy films.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a film you’ll enjoy, but it’s a decent fun caper at best, nothing special even within its genre. You’ll get your money’s worth, but exactly just that. No more, no less.