Thomas Capone | Contributing Writer
Matthew Vaughn returned to direct “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” the sequel to his 2015 film “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The film sees the return of Taron Edgerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong from the first film. Not only did the old favorites grace the screen once more, but the film also introduced us to new characters such as the Statesmen, including Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Pedro Pascal. These A-list celebs teamed up with the heroes from the first film to stop the villain Poppy, played by Julianne Moore.
On the plus side, all of the returning cast were just as excellent as they were in the first film. Most of the actors convincingly and compellingly adopted their roles. The trailers and posters for the film heavily tease the introduction of the Statesmen, who are perhaps the best part of the film. Sadly, they don’t get anywhere close to the screen time that they deserve. One such example of this is the character Tequila, played by Channing Tatum. He seems to be featured in every single trailer and poster for the film, but he probably has no more than 10 minutes on screen. The film should have focused more on the Statesmen, but the film’s overstuffed runtime prevented this.
Some of the best parts of the original “Kingsman” were the fight scenes. The fight scenes in this film were good, but don’t live up to the original. The best fight scene in the original was set in a church to the song “Free Bird.” In this film, all the fight scenes played out similarly, trying too hard to recreate the original charm. Instead of trying to do something new or maybe trying to top the original, they just pull more of the same tricks, putting this rendition on an imitative, superficialevel. This issue could again be blamed on how overloaded the film is. No storyline is given enough time to be fleshed out and given proper care. The film could have easily replaced 20 minutes of digressive content with further development of the most interesting plotlines, such as with the Statesman.
One such storyline that could have been cut was one involving the President of the United States and his reaction to Poppy’s evil plan. This subplot feels the most thrown in, and while it does involve a political message, its message ultimately hinders the film and appears irrelevant to the main plot.
Similarly, Poppy could have been a great antagonist, but her character was ultimately one of the worst parts of the film. She lacked a strong motivation for her schemes. She basically just wanted to be a villain. This character also plays into the film’s unnecessary political message which, again, fell completely flat.
Overall, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is entertaining enough to merit a viewing, but it is not worth a second watch considering its flaws and its reliance on the hype of the first film to draw people into the theater. In light of this, the film scores at a 5/10.