Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a solid sequel and a whole lot of fun. The follow-up to the 2015 hit film Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Matthew Vaughn expands on the world that he brought to life from the comic book series from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. To put it in comparison, this is miles ahead better than the last sequel to a Millar comic that Vaughn was involved with, 2013’s Kick-Ass 2, which was a disappointment. It’s insane, outrageous, but never takes itself too seriously. At times, it matches the level of enjoyment that I had for the first film, and Vaughn has another winner of a film.
Taking place sometime after the events of The Secret Service, Kingsman comes under attack from a mysterious organization known as “The Golden Circle” that’s masterminded by Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore). After Poppy destroys the Kingsman headquarters, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) head to the United States to team up with their American counterparts the Statesman, who are lead by Champagne (Jeff Bridges) and agents like Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). As they uncover Poppy’s master plan, Eggsy and Merlin must also contend with something else: how Harry (Colin Firth) is seemingly still alive.
Like with the first film, the action sequences here are kinetic, frantic, and over the top. The action starts within the first minute, right after the opening titles. Instead of making the action sequences hard to follow like some directors would do, Vaughn directs these sequences in such a way that you’re not confused with what’s happening on screen. There’s an action scene in here that’s up there, in my opinion, with the church sequence from the first film. Speaking of the first film, the callbacks that Vaughn and his writing partner, Jane Goldman, put in the film was for most of the time well placed. With the subplot involving Harry and how Vaughn and Goldman brought him back into the fold, I bought into it. The film, at times, wears its references loud and proud, like James Bond (you’ll know them when you see it). The production design of the film is interesting, and each location seems to stand on its own, in particularly Poppy’s color-coordinated red diner.
All of the actors in the film seem like they are having fun, knowing what type of film they signed up for. As with the first film, there are some huge laughs, and you can expect the same here. The pacing, for the most part, is good and the music choices that Vaughn selected for the soundtrack were right on, like Prince and John Denver (with this and Alien: Covenant, seems like a resurgence with his music). Finally, there’s a cameo in here that’s so brilliant that it had me rolling on the floor laughing. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, please do your best in not spoiling it before you see it. Worth it.
If there’s anything negative that The Golden Circle had, it’s that for a 141-minute film, there were parts that Vaughn could have condensed. Even though the callbacks were good, sometimes they are overkill. Lastly, like with The Secret Service, there are some scenes that had questionable CGI or it’s really noticeable, as if Vaughn and his team ran out of time.
Overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a good sequel. As a fan of the first one, I was quite pleased with the results. If you liked the first one, or like these types of films, chances are you will like this. This is another comic book movie winner for this year. Since there’s a tease at the end for a potential third film, I’m looking forward to the next one!