By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
- Spoiler Alert
At least a year has passed in the Kingsman cinematic universe, and longer for those anxiously waiting for the next film. The Golden Circle is as over the top gonzo and perhaps bolder in keeping to its roots — a comic book ridden with over the top moments that will make James Bond wheeze. The humour was less evident in this sequel, and watching this film is like riding a merry-go-round.
I did not expect the violence in this film to be nastier than the first and one nagging thought did pop up. Turn away now if you do not want to read a potentially massive spoiler.
No meat grinder can be that perfect. I expected to see more blood, bones and ripped outfits to emerge. While these scenes are not as gory as witnessing bodies being torn apart in a horror film, this movie comes close to being a Japanese Animation spy thriller in the vein of Midnight Eye Goku (minus the futuristic setting) than an action spy comedy when the big battle is considered.
This movie begins with a bang with Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” when Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has to deal with a renegade who did not make the cut in the opening act. Sadly, when one of Eggsy’s mates play with his super spy toys and seemingly, by coincidence, activates an item, the destruction of the Kingsman organization happens very fast. Technically, the foe Eggy fought left a mechanical arm behind and its automated systems hacked this agency’s computer to find where the team lives. Only two survive, and they realize they can not solve this act of terrorism alone. They remain level-headed and seek the help of the Statesman.
This other group of superspies is a hoot and a holler. They are named after alcoholic drinks, except for Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). Maybe she goes well when mixed with Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Champagne (Jeff Bridges), but she’s more of a sidekick who yearns to become one of them. Also, these characters do not interact together as much. They are the folks Eggy meets and they offer support.
If producer/writer/director Matthew Vaughn has his way (and dependent on box office dollars), a spin-off might appear to show the Statesman countering threats to their country much like a certain group of elite soldiers (who have a huge toy line dating back to 1964).
The agenda of suggesting recreational drugs should be legalized is an iffy one best left out of movies. This film’s plot about how the antagonist, Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore) and her cartel supposedly humanizing the world is dubious at best. The president of the USA (played by Bruce Greenwood) has his own idea and I have to wonder if there are overtones given where the real world political antics in the states are heading. Also, this idea is most likely borrowed from another series. I’m fairly sure the genesis came from an idea in the animated and short-lived series G.I. Joe Renegades; COBRA operated much the same way and had a similar idea to euthanize the world. Both Kingsman films are very cartoon-like than comic. When considering how nutbar the challenges are which the team has to face, the series might as continue on this other medium than as a film released once every three years. At least the wait will not be as long!
3 Stars out of 5