Movie Review - Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring:Taron Edgerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal.
Release Date: 22nd August 2017A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. – courtesy of IMDB
How Kingsmen Fall
I think all of us were surprised with just how great Kingsman: The Secret Service was back when it was released in 2014. What we were treated too was a high-octane action comedy that used its sharp wit to parody the tiresome spy genre to create something that was not only tongue-in-cheek, but also genuinely fantastic movie making.
Three years later and the sequel that many of us were looking forward to is here and the long wait is over. Could the second movie carry on the elements that made the first a success? Was it worth the wait?
No and no. Review done.
Okay, I’ll go into why. Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes everything you loved about the first movie and milks it to death in the laziest ways possible. Lazy is the perfect word to describe this film. Instead of being a parody of a cheesy spy movie like the first, The Golden Circle is just a flat out bad movie that lacks in wit and any form of originality.
The problem that really drags this film down - the really rotten egg in the basket - is none other than the inclusion of Colin Firth. Don’t get me wrong, Colin Firth is good actor and plays a massive, integral part of the first film, but by bringing his character back, the film ends up stumbling over its perceived massive cock and falls flat. He is utterly wasted. The filmmakers spend way, way too much time redeveloping his character for the sake of putting him in the sequel to draw in a crowd (rest assured, that’s the only reason he’s back). He died in the first film, but the filmmakers don’t care about that.
If he’s dead, keep him dead. Respect your own story and don’t pander to what you think the audience wants. His death was an unexpected, shocking, and clever moment. And yet it is all undone with shitty explanations and deus ex machina just for the sake of it. Because of this plot device, the first half of the movie drags on an incredible amount, so much so that The Golden Circle feels 40 minutes longer than the original when in fact it’s only 10. That’s because things actually progressed in the first film, there’s momentum along with actual funny and intriguing moments throughout.
And I know many people will be saying “it’s a comedy and it’s supposed to be ridiculous.” Yes, of course that is true. The concept of the first film is insane, but at least that film had consequences - there were actual stakes at hand. It’s hard to even laugh or give a shit now in a world where everything seems to mean nothing. Just because it’s a comedy doesn’t mean it gets away with laziness and awful writing.
An example would be redoing entire scenes for the sake of fan service. A nod here and there is nice, charming even, but in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, entire scenes are literally recreated. No other movie gets away with that, why this one? Imagine if the Indiana Jones sequels just redid the exact same truck/car chase through the desert again. It’d be sloppy and lazy and too self-aware to the point where it clearly doesn’t give a shit. Redoing scenes doesn’t make the movie clever, it makes it incompetent.
"Lazy is the perfect word to describe this film."
A comedy should consist of jokes. There are funny moments in a sporadic kind of way, but when one of your biggest reoccurring jokes is the fact that Elton John is in the movie then it shows the writers are running out of ideas already. Other than that we have cheesy one liners that feel more genuine than ironic at this point. The comedy just doesn’t work.
Another huge issue is the sheer amount of wasted opportunities for either funny or action filled moments. If you’re going to introduce the new Statesmen characters, use them. If you’re going to set a scene in Glastonbury, use it for a big action scene or for better, non-predictable jokes. Use the stuff you bring into a film.
There is no need for Channing Tatum, Halle Berry or Jeff Bridges – they add very little humour and significant enough plot relevance to even be warranted. They just keep pushing Colin Firth whose plot line just becomes as useless in similar ways.
You can count the good elements of Kingsman: The Golden Circle on one hand. The first action scene was good, the very last fight scene is also great. But everything else in between feels forced, flat, and dishonest to the original. Mark Strong is the standout here, with genuinely good comic-timing. He appears to be putting in effort. If you’re going to make a sequel, add to it. Let the story grow in interesting ways. What we have here is a disappointing and boring waste of time.
+ Mark Stong
+ A couple of good action sequences
- Terrible pacing issues
- Boring, predictable, and lazy
- Wasted opportunity to create a great sequel