Kingsman: The Golden Circle adds American muscle to fun sequel

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to the 2014 smash hit based on the acclaimed comic book Secret Service by Mark Millar, telling the story of a super-secret British spy organization.

This time around the Kingsman are under attack with their HQ, and numerous bases destroyed as well as several agents killed by an evil organization known as the ‘Golden Circle’. The remaining agents now need to turn to their American counterparts the ‘Statesman’ for help.

Director Matthew Vaughn has done it again bringing us a tightly packed and well-paced movie. This sequel starts off rather loud and brash, which wasn’t very gentlemanly, but man it was fun. The action sequences were amazing, with the opening fight occurring inside a high speeding black cab – it really will take your breath away.

The over the top action and unbelievable stunts are exactly what I’d expected from a Kingsman film. I can’t help but think it’s what the Bond films could have become instead of taking the straight serious route. With globe-trotting locations, secret jungle bases and cable-car action upon snow-topped mountains this film comes straight from the mind of people who’ve grown up with the Roger Moore era of Bond.

Taron Egerton has returned as ‘Eggsy’ the young street kid turned secret agent and he’s so watchable as our main protagonist. Colin Firth is back and equally as charming and suave. Julian Moore is brilliant as Poppy Adams, a notorious criminal mastermind, who also happens to be completely insane – which helps in the villain circles. The Statesman are every bit the American stereotype as the Kingsman are a British cliché, but they are a lot of fun swapping bowlers for cowboy hats and umbrellas for lassos. Channing Tatum has a somewhat smaller part than expected as Agent Tequila, but it’s left to Pedro Pascal, as Statesman Agent Whisky, to lead the American good guys and he’s amazing as the whip welding cowboy super spy. No spoilers, but The Golden Circle also features one of the best and funniest celebrity cameos I’ve seen on the big screen in quite a while.

The story revolves around the drugs trade and asks a few moral questions about the legalization and criminalization of recreational drug use. However, I was far too busy enjoying myself to care about an underlining moral message. The Golden Circle does suffer from a little sequelitis as the first film was so refreshing and new. Without the growing momentum of the origins story that we saw in the first film, we are thrust full throttle into the world of the Kingsman, which does mean that the outlandish and silly nature may not suit all viewers that loved the first outing. It’s all a little more comic book than its predecessor but fuck it, I love it.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has both feet firmly planted in its crazy world, which might be a step too far for some, but for me, this was a highly entertaining watch that’s made me thirsty for more. Bring on the Kingsman trilogy.

Reviewed by Ian Wright

4 small stars