Review: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is back in KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)

When the Kingsman headquarters is destroyed by a new enemy named Poppy (Julianne Moore), Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) end up seeking assistance from the U.S. division a.k.a. the Statesman (led by Jeff Bridges) to take down the culprit.

REVIEW: Back in 2015, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE became a sleeper hit at the worldwide box office which was successful enough to warrant a sequel. While the first movie was mostly favoured by critics and fans alike, I personally found KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE more like an overrated action comedy that tries hard to be both violent and funny.

Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is alive after all in KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)

Fast forward to two years, the highly-anticipated sequel has finally arrived. And guess what, if you love the first one, you are likely to be entertained with this latest instalment. Frankly, it's more of the same. Only this time, KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE improves slightly better than the first movie. Returning director Matthew Vaughn made the right choice opening his sequel in a traditional Bond-like action-packed prologue. Accompanied by a boisterous soundtrack of Prince's Let's Go Crazy, the nighttime car chase scene across the streets of London successfully set off the bouncy tone of the movie. It was both fun and entertaining set-piece, complete with a fight scene inside the car between Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Charlie (Edward Holcroft), the vengeful Kingsman reject from the first movie and another scene where Eggsy riding on a detached car door that screeched along the road. That scene alone instantly reminds me of the highway chase seen in 1998's LETHAL WEAPON 4.

Agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and his trusty electric lasso in KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)

Like the first movie, Vaughn's gonzo action sequences remain one of the highlights in this sequel. Even the choice of gadgets is more fanciful this time around. Apart from the first movie's signature customised umbrella, the sequel also introduces a briefcase rocket launcher (an obvious inspiration from the guitar case rocket launcher seen in 1995's DESPERADO) and the coolest gadget of all -- the electric lasso carried by Pedro Pascal's Agent Whiskey.

Julianne Moore plays the sequel's main antagonist as Poppy in KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)

Most of the cast including both old and new, give their respectively spirited performances. That includes Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and Mark Strong who all reprise their roles with the same playful manners from the first movie. As for the newcomers to the franchise, Pedro Pascal of Netflix's Narcos is charismatic as the cowboy-centric Agent Whiskey. Halle Berry shines in her otherwise minor role as the nerdy techie Ginger and Julianne Moore (thankfully) delivers a better antagonist role than Samuel L. Jackson did the first time around in KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE. Elton John excels with his hilariously flamboyant cameo playing himself, while Bruce Greenwood hams it up as the U.S. President.

But the plot, which again written by Vaughn himself alongside Jane Goldman, is executed in a haphazard manner. It doesn't help that KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE runs an unnecessary 20 minutes longer than the first movie. The bloated length can be felt throughout the movie, while Poppy's evil scheme (this time, it was drugs controlling the people instead of Samuel L. Jackson's Richmond Valentine's SIM cards) is basically a rehash of the first movie.

Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Ginger (Halle Berry) in KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017)

Vaughn also attempts to pull the same surprise seen in the first movie with the character's unexpected death. Unfortunately, what works the first time around becomes more of an excuse to evoke some shock reactions from the viewers. Some of the cast members are sadly wasted, notably Channing Tatum who appears nothing more than a thankless glorified cameo as Agent Tequila. Jeff Bridges' minor appearance as the head of the Statesman, Champ is more like showing up for an easy paycheck, while Michael Gambon is almost non-existent as the new Arthur. Then, there's Sophia Cookson who previously provide a solid supporting role as Roxy in the first movie, is now shockingly reduced into a barely-there performance.

Despite a few shortcomings, KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE offers decent entertainment values to please both fans and viewers looking for some cinematic escapism.

A bloated, but ridiculously fun sequel saved by over-the-top action sequences along with Taron Egerton and Colin Firth's typically game performances.

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