Release Date: September 22, 2017
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Cast: Taron Egerton, Edward Holcroft, Gordon Alexander, Mark Strong, Hanna Alstrom, Calvin Demba, Thomas Trugoose, Tobi Bakare, Julianne Moore, Keith Allen, Tom Benedict Knight, Colin Firth, Michael Gambon, Sophie Cookson, Bjorn Granath, Lena Endre, Samantha Coughlan, Channing Tatum, Halley Berry, Elton John, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, Martyn Ford, Poppy Delevingne, Grant Gillespie
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 141 minutes
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marv Films, Shangri-La Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Country: UK, USA
When it comes to adapting graphic novels and comic book properties, there’s a list of directors I’d consider a dream team of film geniuses to take on the material. Matthew Vaughn is on that list, and far as I’m concerned should be towards to the top. He gave us the marvelous yet, underrated film Kick Ass (2010), rebooted the X-Men franchise with First Class (2011), and took on Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) shortly after. The point is that this man knows what he’s doing and that is even more apparent with this sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Vaughn took every great aspect from the first and doubled it with this follow up. Nearly the entire cast is back, and is also joined by even more Hollywood stars. From the jump, this film is an adrenaline rush for all fans who love action, comics, and all that is awesome, exceeding the previous film across the board. It does delve into the realm of over the top silliness for no reason fully explained, but for some fantastical reason it can be easily overlooked, and checked off as a pheromonal popcorn flick that delivers.
One aspect that made The Secret Service so great was the level of action that was present. There’s nothing different this time around other than it being cranked up to optimal levels. The camera work during the scenes was nothing short of stunning as well. Whipping back and forth between objects in and out, going inside and out of cars without the shot breaking was a true spectacle to see. It was like a dream sequence you had control of living out your own fantasy in a past thought up adventure. The action within made me fill like a kid again, where I’m the writer, producer, and director of my own films with all the rights to any figure or toy I could get my hands on. The technology from the Kingsman vault of gadgets still didn’t cease to amaze me. Their weaponry is something I long to possess just for the sheer decoration it would provide on my wall. I’m a big fan of the hyper stylized action speeding up and slowing down in a seamless sequence, and there was plenty of that in Golden Circle. The hand to hand weapon to hand combat was also well choreographed with none able to surpass the legendary church scene from part one, but still came rather close.
Some of the main characters from the first film were expected to come back for the sequel, but there were a few surprises that I appreciate that really held the two films together. In addition, all the relationships felt like they progressed naturally with little to no intrusion. By doing this, it as well raised your awareness, and fondness for each character even more than you cared before. One characters arc who I don’t want to spoil and was so innocent with every gesture, that you’d welcome them to your home with open arms. Which goes to show the level of detail that was put into each role that encourages you to care. Some of the characters screen time was brief to say the least, but their short time in front of the camera still left a lasting mark.
Julianne Moore is set up as the villain, and is just as crazy as Samuel L. Jackson, but she took the cake for being more threatening. She was able to take the “kill them with kindness” personality and mix it with a few doses of insanity. Thinking of what she considered normal was scary enough, and the insecurities of wanting fame made her even more dangerous and unstable. I wouldn’t even want to look at a picture of the women, so being in the same room with her will place me possibly in a coma. She was nuts!
In all honesty, there are a few nuggets throughout the film that could be picked apart for the lack of logic that was included when it was presented on screen. Though, I noticed these moments as they were happening, a feeling of apathy consumed me. For some reason, the tone of the film soothes you not to care, accept it, and have fun. The film is hilarious, and as I’m watching Elton Jon avoid death, defying obstacles is physically impossible, I could do nothing else but laugh hysterically. To you, you may feel that the Golden Circle is a step down, but I personally was satisfied with the film to the point of pure excitement.