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Taron Egerton – Gary “Eggsy” Unwin
Julianne Moore – Poppy Adams
Mark Strong – Merlin
Halle Berry – Ginger Ale
Colin Firth – Harry Hart
Hanna Alström – Tilde of Sweden
Channing Tatum – Tequila
Pedro Pascal – Jack Daniels / Whiskey
Elton John – himself
Well. That was a load of rubbish. Yes indeed, I’m afraid Kingsman: The Golden Circle just doesn’t live up to the standard of its predecessor. Oh it delivers 138 minutes of slick entertainment because it has to, it’s an action flick, but overall the movie is sorely missing something.
I think the producers continuing the story with Eggsy was a mistake; instead of introducing the Kingsman concept and bringing the first movie to an explosive end.. then shoving a new story on top with this second instalment, they should have left it at that explosive end. It made a highly refreshing idea back in 2014 with the adventurous story of a rough council estate lad who discovers a new world; the high-tech gadgets and weaponry he learns to use, the incredible new life he attains.. it was a superb little movie.
But just one was enough. Extending Eggsy’s adventures isn’t exactly one for the Oscar shelf, and basically displays all the wonders of the Kingsman world you’ve seen before (if you’ve seen the first movie) whilst throwing in a few new characters in – I’m assuming – the hope of spicing things up. These additional characters take up a lot of space though. Like Eggsy opening a brand new weapon cupbord, they start coming out in full force and all with different intent:
Tequila: a slick, ass-kicking cowboy who Tatum actually doesn’t do a bad job of playing. He’s a nasty bastard and full of threat at first which he pulls off nicely. The only eye-rolling thing about him is the fact the actor has to incorporate some pelvic-gyrating dance moves into his time on screen. Tatum just cannot coast through a fucking movie without showing the world – yet again – what he did during his previous career.
Ginger Ale: a bespectacled and uber intelligent employee who adds very little to the production, even when witty lines are spoken. Not good.
Champagne (Bridges) and Jack Daniels (Pascal), support the current duo Eggsy and Merlin. Then you have Harry (Firth) and Edward, Eggsy’s girlfriend Tilde with her royal parents in tow, and Elton John to top it all off (probably the most random cameo I’ve seen in a film).
Poppy Adams: Julianne Moore – she’s getting everywhere isn’t she. But it works. As the lead enemy of the movie, Moore adds both dramatic and comic relief. Her naturally firey appearance adds to her character’s evil personality and she is probably the best thing about this movie. That sweetly concealing smile and devious glint in her eye are just superb – very engaging performance from her, I don’t think Moore could be any more entertaining. Total saviour.
So thankfully for Moore who maintains a steady dramatic relief amongst everybody when the camera is on her the movie is bearable, but otherwise there is a shitload of various characters clogging up the stage. It’s often tedious stuff, making Kingsman: The Golden Circle an absolute half and half in my opinion; it’s overall a load of rubbish heading straight for the bin but is entertaining – in a few parts.
This movie isn’t complete shite. It is very colourful in parts with nicely done visuals portraying various locations such as Poppy’s lair in leafy Cambodia and the sparkling alpine backdrop for the Italian antidote factory. Stoney Kingsman labyrinths, 1950’s-inspired Poppy Land complete with a shiny American diner and bowling alley.. some of the settings are very well done and bursting with clarity. I cannot fault this element.
Another positive is the movie’s soundtrack. One or two fight scenes are played out to the sound of pumping tunes which certainly heighten the atmosphere as the characters jump, slide and shoot their way to victory. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is loud and slick, and will have viewers who like a bit of action-adventure glued to the screen.
Using Elton John as a cameo was strangely superb. His kidnap is flagged subtley in the movie with a newspaper article, and his confinement is soon revealed as Poppy Land itself. John and Moore have a wonderful chemistry on screen, working on levels of comedy and drama respectively. And having Elton shouting out, “FUCK YOU, POPPY!” and her response of, (GASP) “fuck YOU, Elton” is hilarious. The casting is wonderfully surreal.
They should have left it at the end of the first one. Although this movie is fast and loud, it lets itself down in terms of excitement. The story is as simple and undercooked as an Inspector Gadget instalment (and just as animated).
This is a sequel which fails spectacularly to match the energy of the first movie. Avoid if you can.