After the roaring success of Kingsman: The Secret Service back in 2015, director Matthew Vaughn set himself quite the challenge in creating a sequel. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the reviews are already stacking up against his latest offering, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
It was always going to be compared with the first film so Vaughn has attempted to make this addition bigger and brasher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t pulled off the same success the second time around. Trolling through Twitter after seeing it, the general consensus is that number two isn’t a patch on its predecessor. Why? The key word here is excess.
The franchise super spy Eggsy (Taron Egerton) makes his return, looking as dapper as ever and ready to save the world after Miss Poppy’s (Julianne Moore) designer drug causes global threat. After an attack on the Kingsman headquarters, Eggsy is left with no choice but to seek support from the Kingsman’s counterparts – Statesmen – based in Kentucky. But, rather than focusing on the film’s plot, Vaughn, puts his efforts into unsubtle CGI. While this lends the film a futuristic aesthetic, there is too much of it, with robotic killer dogs and butterflies hovering around the screen. The effort would have been put to better use by developing characters and plot.
Warning: there’s a very uncomfortable sex scene within this film as Eggsy is given the task of planting a tracking device inside the girlfriend of the film’s villain. The director could have had him spike her drink, but instead, Vaughn turned this into a scene of inappropriate foreplay. Very uncomfortable to watch, this scene was like witnessing a vulgar sexual assault which sat awkwardly with the supposedly comic tone of the film.
And although this film boasts an all-star cast, Vaughn has the actors come and go. The audience doesn’t see enough of them, and their talents are wasted. Take Moore for example, a huge name in Hollywood. Here she takes on the central role of the villain, living in Cambodia in an extremely twisted 1950s-style compound, running a drugs business. Yet, for some unknown reason, she is sidelined – Moore is barely seen in this film. What is the point of an all-star cast when the majority of them barely get any screen time?
Elton John receives more attention from the camera than anyone in his cameo, but the big question is this: why would anyone want to cast Elton John in a spoof spy film? His role as Miss Poppy’s hostage is pointless and adds absolutely nothing to the plot. Who would have thought that Elton John spouting out “fuck off” could get so tedious? After the 20th time, you won’t be able to endure much more. And, never mind Elton John, bring back Samuel L. Jackson.
Running for a hefty two hours and 21 minutes, Vaughn has thrown everything and everyone into this film. But what happened to quality over quantity? It’s packed with fight scenes, explosions, chases and high-tech gadgets, but perhaps it’s all just a bit over the top? The film contains so much CGI that it appears to block out the real world, and there are too many A-listers jostling for position. But what’s most disappointing is the complete lack of plot. Bogged down in the action, it’s difficult to follow the actual narrative.
However, to end on a more positive note, it does deserve a solid ten out of ten for originality.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is in cinemas nationwide