Kingsman: The Golden Circle

posted 24 May 2018, 09:32 by Paul Woodward

Genre: Action / Adventure

Stars: Taron Egerton / Colin Firth / Mark Strong / Julianne Moore / Hanna Alstrom / Pedro Pascal

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Certificate: 15

Run Time: 2hrs 21mins

Year: 2017

This is an entertaining popcorn movie, fast paced with plenty of stunning action visuals. It’s good for what it is – but I think it lacks the freshness and unique feel that the first Kingsman film had that gave it a more dramatic impact. This is very much more of the same, but not as impressive. It’s well worth watching and switching off to on a Saturday evening, it keeps your interest and has entertaining action sequences. It’s not going to win any awards and I doubt I’ll ever watch it again, but in comparison to most Hollywood blockbusters it’s one of the better ones.

The story of a council estate kid making it into an elite secret service – was the backbone of the first film and involved lots of ‘class divide’ rhetoric and comedy. This time around the hero ‘Eggsy’ is a fully-fledged Kingsman and the film flows along as a sort of tongue in cheek ‘James Bond’ alike film. The film has a lot of Englishness to it which makes it appeal to an English audience, but it does have mass appeal and the introduction of the Statesmen widens up the film to more mainstream American markets – with the likes of Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry having small but prominent roles.

Julianne Moore acts everyone of the screen effortlessly as the film’s villain Poppy and is easily the best thing about the whole film. The only downside is she makes the other actors look piss poor in comparison! Always great to see Moore taking on varying roles, what’s great about her here is that her villain isn’t an over the top caricature delivered with overblown excessive mannerisms. That make’s her turn as Poppy that much scarier and suitably villainous and unsympathetic.

There is a couple of things about the storyline I wasn’t sure of, like the Hero injecting Poppy with Heroin at the end which unintentionally kills her. I found that uncomfortable and that whole scene could have been done differently I feel. I also wasn’t sure about the film’s stance on drugs, while the villain is a drug dealer who is eventually stopped – the way the film goes it seemingly makes drug use an everyday activity and dare I say it acceptable? Like when we see one of Eggsy’s mates smoking a crack pipe. A lot depends on your outlook on drugs and your own lifestyle choices – but I found the film downplayed the negative impact of drugs like Heroin and Cocaine on real lives which I didn’t really like – especially when the target audience for this film is young adults.

Other than the aforementioned Moore, the acting was very poor, given the pedigree of some of the actors in this film that may be shocking but a lot of it is down to the script and the type of film this is. I’m sure many of the actors involved may be happy they were in a fun film, but they may find themselves a little embarrassed by the acting.

One of the running gags through the film is Elton John, who has been kidnapped by Poppy. Now at times that’s funny, but there is way too much Elton John! He has more screen time than many of the billed stars of this film, like Channing Tatum. My main problem is he can’t act for shit and he is given too much dialogue and things to do and this has a really negative impact on the film. If anything, the writers just seem to want to see how many times they can get him to say ‘Fuck’ rather than add anything worthwhile to the film.

The special effects are on the whole stunning and the action scenes excitingly choregraphed. The violence is glamourized and dynamic and filmed in a way to create a one take style. The action is stylised in a very exciting way and the way it’s filmed is quite captivating. The action scenes are what make this film worth watching.

There is a strong comedic tone to the film, but it tends to be laddish and crude. It’s not laugh out loud funny to me, rather tongue in cheek and not taking itself seriously.

7/10

Review by Woody

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