"it does prove an entertaining spectacle in IMAX, especially during its blistering opening and 100mph fight sequences"
Matthew Vaughn returns to direct the sequel to 2014’s surprise hit that parodied Bond subtly enough to forge its own identity whilst being on the nose enough as suitable pastiche.
In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we pick up after the events of the first film have concluded, settled, and our heroes have gotten themselves together after the loss of Colin Firth’s Harry.
Now, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has moved into Harry’s role and no sooner has the movie begun we are thrown into an elaborate car chase through the semi-busy streets of London. Suffice to say the opening action sequences races into fifth gear but it’s all a little clumsily shot and overlong.
And that pretty much sums up Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It’s constantly in the shadow of the first movie as it tries to outdo it at every turn but never quite manages to. That’s not to say it doesn’t go all out in its attempts: it does and to a really obvious extent.
It’s bigger, louder, faster, longer, but most certainly not stronger than its predecessor, which is a massive shame considering the expectation. Kingsman: The Secret Service was a pleasant surprise. It didn’t look like much in its trailer but the film itself was strong and it worked. It’s disappointing that Vaughn panicked and tried to go bigger and better in the most overt manner that it loses any grace and intelligence it wants to embody.
Along the way it’s funny, especially when we’re introduced to our new characters like Channing Tatum's Tequila and Julianne Moore's Poppy. Mark Strong’s return as Merlin is a welcomed one, but in regards to the former two they’re woefully underused and you forget, in Tatum’s case, that he even exists. Similarly, and perhaps most unforgivable, is how Jeff Bridges is shoehorned into the story – why employ a multi-Oscar winner if you’re not going to use him? It’s Jeff Bridges for god’s sake! Pedro Pascal's Whiskey is perhaps the only addition that’s incorporated into the story well, but there’s all a little too much going on to really appreciate him.
Overall, this sequel doesn’t land and throws in some horribly gross sexual jokes and a lot of faff leading up to its inevitable finale.
Regardless of Kingsman’s sequel being somewhat lacklustre, it does prove an entertaining spectacle in IMAX, especially during its blistering opening and 100mph fight sequences.