Kingsman: The Golden Circle Fails as a Sequel

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Fails as a Sequel

Dominic Costa, Staff Writer

Kingsman: The Golden Circle was everything the first movie wasn’t. Of course, that means it has all of the flaws the first movie didn’t. At nearly two and a half hours, cut down from a four-hour director’s cut, Matthew Vaughn’s sequel is a wild, uninspired movie, though it does have its moments.

For a brief summary, Kingsman: The Golden Circle follows Eggsy (Taron Egerton), who is now a member of the Kingsman Secret Service. Some time has passed since the first movie, and he is now dating the princess of Sweden, Tilde (Hanna Alstrom). We see some familiar faces, such as Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and Merlin (Mark Strong). One day, after leaving work, Eggsy is attacked by a mysterious figure from his past. This ambush allows a secret organization, known as the Golden Circle, to hack into the Kingsman database and destroy every single one of its operations with targeted missiles. Eggsy and Merlin, being the only survivors, follow protocol and find themselves in the United States with the Statesman, their western cousins. They team up to track down Poppy (Julianne Moore), who is trying to take over the world, and end her catastrophic plans before it’s too late.

This movie is way too over the top. The first film mocked the use of tech disguised as everyday weapons in many spy films, weaponizing everything you could find in your pocket. Lighters are hand grenades, rings are stun guns, and pens are poison darts. The sequel takes it way too far with the Statesman. As American stereotypes, the statesman dresses as cowboys and carry revolvers, in contrast to the Kingsman’s suits and suitcase guns. How an electric lasso is more effective than an umbrella shotgun in battle, I don’t know, but it allows for some fun fight scenes. But a baseball as a hand grenade? That’s just idiotic. While a Kingsman can simply walk by someone and place a lighter on the counter, a Statesman has to throw a baseball at them.

This movie falls most victim to what is often referred to as “sequelitis.” This is when a sequel to a successful movie fails to capture the same energy as its predecessor. The Golden Circle lacks creativity, has unnecessary retcons, and repeatedly references the first movie. These references add next to nothing to the movie, and serve no purpose other than to get the audience to say, “Oh look! It’s that thing from that thing that I like! Therefore, I like this thing as well!” The same goes for the action, being simply knockoff sequences from the first movie. That being said, Matthew Vaughn is still Matthew Vaughn, so the direction is as good as ever. It does, however, lack realism, which causes people to be less invested in the intense action sequences.

Stars like Channing Tatum and Halle Berry are given next to nothing to do in the film. In fact, Tatum is unconscious for the majority of the movie, and Pedro Pascal is thrown in to help Eggsy. These characters could have easily been condensed into one. Colin Firth is forcefully retconned into the movie after his character was killed off in the first film. He couldn’t have been more dead. The writers found a way, but it was pretty sloppy. More accurately, money found a way. Another specific character is done a major disservice by being killed early on, barely ever being mentioned again. even though they were a major character in the first movie. Additionally, the villain is a cliche, being a typical sweet sounding person who says disturbing things. She actually isn’t even in the movie for a long period of time, and I barely noticed.

Overall, the movie is still entertaining enough despite its shortcomings. It’s worth renting or catching on TV sometime, but save yourself a trip to the movie theater.