Action movies are hard to get right. Hollywood love to churn them out every year because they do not take a huge amount of effort and normally have enough box office draw for a quick cash grab. Director Matthew Vaughan however has managed to prove us all wrong on a number of occasions with titles like Kick Ass, X-Men First Class and the surprise hit Kingsmen: The Secret Service under his belt.
Unfortunately, this year’s follow up Kingsman: The Golden Circle does not quite live up to its predecessor. The sequel opens with main character Eggsy filling the gap of his mentor Galahad (Colin Firth) and wastes no time in throwing you into the highly stylised, over the top fight sequence taking place in the middle of an insane car chase. This really sets the tone for the rest of the film. It seems Vaughan was trying to out-do himself and at times got carried away making it seem so forced and hollow.
Our villain comes in the form of Julianne Moore playing the head of an exotic drug cartel and she really does give one of the worst performances of her career when compared to how seriously Taron Egerton takes his role. Doing her best Sean Connery-era bond villain impression, it’s hard not to cringe every time she appears on screen. What needs to be said is that this film is outrageous, ridiculous and at times very stupid, which is that’s saying a lot considering how tongue in cheek the first film was. However, it does do a lot right. The film-makers fleshed out Eggsy’s relationship with now girlfriend Princess Tilde, adding a layer to the film that makes the two even more likeable and allows for some great moments of comic relief. Plus the addition of American secret service Statesman was a nice touch of originality to the series which is hard to come by these days.
The addition of Pedro Pascal was more than welcome and this film really gets the ensemble cast element right with great performances from Mark Strong and Jeff Bridges. If you want to enjoy this film, suspension of disbelief is really important. It does get so convoluted at times you will find yourself rolling your eyes and thinking “Come on. Really?”. What is weird about this film is that it does not have a problem axing characters, yet cannot seem to let go of Colin Firth. Plus there is the added insult of Channing Tatum’s minuscule screen time despite what the promotional material would have you believe.
In saying that Kingsman is unapologetically crazy and admittedly enjoyable at times. There is some genuinely hilarious moments and some fight scenes are extensive and adrenaline fuelled. There are some superb set pieces and colourful costumes that are no less than stunning. It is certainly a film that knows what it wants to achieve and to be honest it is ideal for turning off your brain and enjoying escapism.