Thursday, April 22, 2021

Kingsman – The Golden Circle: A Not So Golden Sequel




Like Marvel and DC’s long run of comic book movies, the “Kingsman” is based on the comic book series of the same name started in 2012 by Mark Miller and Dave Gibbons. Two years later, “Kingsman – The Secret Service” was released in theaters where it was met with praise for its over the top action and humor; think James Bond but with a satirical tone. Now, after three years, its sequel “Kingsman – The Golden Circle” has come to the big screen. The only question is will it be the sequel fans needed or a sequel only the producers wanted?

“Kingsman – The Golden Circle” follows Kingsman agent Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, as he tracks down a dangerous drug cartel responsible for the destruction of the Kingsman headquarters and death of all agents except for himself and tech wizard Merlin, played by Mark Strong. The two learn that the one responsible for the ruin of Kingsman is a billionaire drug kingpin known only as Poppy, played by Julianne Moore. Alone and outgunned, the two travel to Kentucky where they find the American version of the Kingsman Secret Service known as the Statesmen. There, they find new allies to aid them in their fight, played by actors Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges.



When Poppy threatens the free world with a deadly toxin that has infected a large portion of the population, they’ll need all the help they can get, help that comes in the form of an old friend, Harry Hart, played by the great Colin Firth who returns to the role. Standing beside the cast is Elton John as… Elton John. Gratuitous cameo aside, he actually has a slightly significant role in the movie. He even contributes to a pretty entertaining fight scene with his hit song, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”

Like its predecessor, “Kingsman – The Golden Circle” contains plenty of over the top combat that will leave any hardcore action lover giddy with excitement. Being a fictitious spy film, you can bet there are plenty of interesting, if sometimes questionable gadgets like cyborg arms, robotic dogs, a machinegun briefcase, shield umbrella and an electronic whip, which are featured in a number of fight scenes. Regrettably, besides some fun action and a few humorous scenes, the overall film suffers from a glaring issue: it’s a sequel.

A sequel is a two-way street; it can be a good thing or a bad thing. If a sequel is going to happen, a question should be asked first. And no, nothing like, “How much will this make us?” The question should be: “What does this add to the overall story?” A sequel should contribute to the narrative, explore character arcs, expand the lore and world. Or, at the very least, show how the characters have progressed and put them into a situation where their talents are tested and/or matched. That’s what leads to a good sequel. Unfortunately, “Kingsman – The Golden Circle” does none of that.

While the film was written by the same creators as the first installment, it feels like it lacks the same heart. As if the writers and director were being forced to make a sequel against their better judgment, so they wrote a quick story and just threw a bunch of money at the screen. As far as characters go, most that are introduced end up being superfluous to the narrative except to move plot A to B or establish a plot device that will be used by the main characters for a later scene; that’s it. The problem I have with most modern sequels is they’re too scared to try something different so they stick to the formula of the previous one, but what we get is second-rate filler that tries to pass as successors to scenes that were done better in the previous film. So all that happens is the viewer is left sitting there, waiting for things to happen until it gets to the action scene; which just about summarizes my experience throughout the movie.

“Kingsman – The Golden Circle” is rated R for violence, drug content, language, and some sexual material. If I could put the entire movie into one word, I would best describe it as subpar. It’s not terrible; far from it. There’s enough action and humor to make it a somewhat fun movie, but compared to the first one, it’s a sequel that’s lacking an interesting plot to carry the viewer until the combat scenes happen. Which is why the final score for “Kingsman – The Golden Circle” is a 6.5 out of 10.

Marco Island resident and avid moviegoer, Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a bachelor’s degree in science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. In his four years at Lynn, Matthew managed to achieve Magna Cum Laude status, earn three publications in the Lynn University magazine, make a short documentary featured in the university’s Film Festival, and created a radio PSA that was later broadcasted overseas.

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