BrynnonPicard's Review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Posted Aug 5th, 2018
I was a big fan of the first Kingsman movie, and would even consider it to be one of my favourite movies of all time. So, when I learned that a sequel was in production, I was understandably ecstatic. However, after watching this appalling bastardization of the Kingsman franchise, I can safely categorize it as “Exhibit A” of “How to destroy your franchise 101.” The movie starts off fairly strong, with a solid action sequence and initial intrigue. But the further into the movie we go, the more apparent the flaws become.
First off, character development is essentially non-existent in this film. In the first movie, Eggsy has a wide character arc, going from a boy born on the wrong side of the tracks, to learning how to be a gentleman, and a hero in his own right. In the Golden Circle, during the final battle, Eggsy remarks on how he’s “far more of a gentleman than you will ever be” to Charlie. But this statement felt hollow, because it wasn’t earned, like it would have been in the first film. But the problems don’t end with the main character. Colin Firth, who plays Eggsy’s mentor Agent Galahad, looked like he didn’t want to be there at all. In all fairness, he probably just read the script. Merlin is a solid secondary character, but his death is a disappointment. Also a disappointment was Roxy’s death. I thought they could have done a lot more with her, and she was a welcome addition to an otherwise massive sausage fest. The president is better described as a caricature than a character, and seems like an SNL-skit inspired version of US president Donald Trump. The movie’s villain, Poppy, is creepy, but doesn’t feel scary or all that dangerous. With Valentine in the first Kingsman movie, we got a direct look at his total control over most of the world’s elites (including within Kingsman!) and his dangerous assistant, with her bladed prosthetics. Aside from the initial carnage Poppy causes by destroying all of Kingsman’s resources with missiles we don’t enough reason to be afraid of her, and her near-empty headquarters makes her look weak and vulnerable.
Before I saw the first Kingsman film, I thought it was going to be another over-the-top actionfest with little substance and poor writing. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised, but Kingsman: The Golden Circle is everything I was worried the first one would be. I have to say, this movie really peaked for me when Elton John flying jump kicked one of Poppy’s minions in the face. I honestly don’t know what Elton John was doing in this movie, but it really made the whole thing ridiculous. There was also an abundance of excessive swearing in this installment of the franchise, which felt almost forced. The visual effects looked faker and more heavily stylized than the original. There are a few funny moments in this film, but they’re mostly clustered around the beginning, while in the later parts, attempts at humor are just plain silly. I think the problem with this movie is mostly that they don’t take themselves seriously enough. In the first Kingsman, they were just self-aware enough to poke fun at old spy movies, while simultaneously telling a compelling and entertaining original story. In The Golden Circle, it feels like they’re making fun of themselves, making themselves look stupid and the audience feel stupid for wasting time watching it.