Kingsman: The Golden Circle

kings2I quite enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service, a confident, zany twist on the James Bond spy genre based on a popular comic/graphic novel from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. It enjoyed considerable success and a sequel was quickly greenlit, which I’m a little late finally getting to (I think they are currently filming a prequel).

In the tradition of sequels, this one is bigger, louder and zanier, and while on those terms its enjoyable enough it simply isn’t better– indeed, it’s quite inferior to the original film. Something is missing. I suspect it’s just too bigger, louder, zanier, going far over the line into the ludicrous – sort of dafter, sillier, madder. I’m pretty sure it has its fans and in some ways those fans that loved the first are just as likely to love the second for exactly the same reasons that I found it lacking.

But any film that can waste Jeff Bridges has a bad mark against it in my book. It could be anyone playing his part in this and that’s a crying shame, and it’s somewhat curious to see Halle Berry in a largely wasted role too – with talent like this involved, the film really should have been better. Which is to say nothing of the waste of Julianne Moore as the villainous drug dealer Poppy Adams, a daft pantomime performance that Moore likely thought was fun but leaves the film lacking the balance and drama of what I would consider a proper villain/bad guy. She’s crazy in the grand tradition of many of Bonds’ daftest megalomaniacs but she’s surprisingly bereft of any threat. Sure, she promises the death of millions of people but these are reduced to blatantly animated CGI characters (there’s actually far too much CGI in this, distancing us from any real dramatic tension either in the OTT fights or the grand establishing shots that look false and cartoony- only accentuating the strange distance I felt from the action). Indeed, it slipped uncomfortably close to the kitsch camp of the Adam West Batman show of the 1960s, and that may have been intentional, but it didn’t help the film at all in my view. Afterall, when a bullet to the brain doesn’t mean death, how seriously can you take anything that happens, or much less even care? I half-expected to see Mark Strong limping around in a post-credits sequence…


6 thoughts on “Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    1. Definitely a marmite picture, its polarising how extreme it is in sending up the spy genre and comics. This second film makes the first one seem quite restrained, so best steer clear, I expect you’d hate it.

      1. Tom

        The funny thing is I do enjoy spoofs/send-ups. I mean, Mars Attacks is one of my all-time favorite bad-movies! And I totally think the spy genre is worth poking fun of. The James Bond of old especially. I mean for god’s sake that franchise has a character named Pussy Galore in it. Shameless.

        Idk. maybe it’s the really serious production value that’s been put into these movies that just clashes with the reckless spirit of abandon and the vulgarity at the movie’s core. No doubt about it though, it’s fun to see Colin Firth in this kind of mode. It also introduced me to Taron Egerton, which is no small thing. The kid is extremely talented.

  1. I must admit I enjoyed this a lot, though when I watched it a second time I wasn’t quite as impressed. It lacks the freshness, the surprise, of the first one, and there probably weren’t any individual sequences that could equal the very best of the first film either, but I still enjoyed what they did with it. I find the premise and execution inherently over-the-top and cartoony, so the villain not being genuinely threatening, or the CGI not being particularly realistic, is almost part of the fun for me. I mean, it has Elton John winking at camera while in the middle of a slow-mo flying kick — if that’s not consciously cartoonish, I don’t know what is.

    The prequel looks… interesting. They’ve set it in a much more serious time period, before all the tech and gadgets that drive so much of the action, so how much it’ll feel like the other two I don’t know, but I also can’t imagine them pulling off a serious period action movie in this franchise.

    1. I think with a film like this, its sounds daft, but you’d really need to be in the mood (and possibly had a few drinks before it starts) in order to enjoy it Watching it ‘cold’ as I did, well, it’s a wonder I managed it to the end, as it was more annoying than fun. The series seems popular though, as proven by the prequel getting greenlit.

  2. Pingback: The 2019 List: July – the ghost of 82

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