Kyle J. Steenblik

Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Longwinded but Stimulating in The End. [Review]

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on Kingsman by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges
Release date 22 September 2017
Running time 141 minutes
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material

4 stars out of 5When the Kingsman headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy…

Recycled humor and disappointing character decisions kept Kingsman: The Golden Circle from overcoming the shadow of its predecessor. However, that did not overwhelm the film as a whole as it was entirely enjoyable and successfully married humor and action with a dash of social commentary. The laughs were abundant, and the choreographed action sequences were tight and polished making the entertainment factor high. Overall it was a more mature version of the first film, in some respects, while not entirely abandoning the mildly juvenile raunch.

While I found it disappointing that many of the most interesting characters, and the characters that I feel could have added the most to the film were either killed, or sidelined. A decision that I feel lead to a less complicated script, which is also a less interesting script. Anytime I watch a movie and an obvious decision was made between easy and interesting, I am let down a little, especially when I am already enjoying the film. Now I realize it is not always simple, there are multiple factors that go into developing a scrip, and making directorial decisions. The least of which is pressure from a studio to play it safe, and turn out a product quickly, and as cheaply as possible. Sacrifices are unavoidable with large studio films, yet that knowledge doesn’t tempter the disappointment. What I would qualify as the largest personal disappointment is the fact that I was looking forward to casually calling Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Magic Mike 3, because of how prominent Channing Tatum was in all the promotional material.  The fact that what can be seen in the trailers is roughly the entirety of his role in this film.  We were sold Magic Mike 3, and I am a little angry that is not what we received.

What did not disappoint me in the least, was the quality of the action and humor that we saw in the first film.  The fact that many elements, themes, and jokes were, in some fashion, recycled from that first film doesn’t change the fact that they were good then and they are still good now.  The fact that this year’s car model and last year’s share the same construction and engine doesn’t really matter, because it works.  Granted this means that if we are lucky enough to see a third installment I expect much more, and may not be as forgiving, but I’m speculating about a film that has yet to even be conceptualized.  The point is, I laughed a lot, I didn’t cheer, but I wanted to.  The entire cast delivered exceptional performances, even if some were remarkably shortchanged, and Mark Strong delivered one of the most moving renditions of John Denver’s “Country Roads” I may have ever heard.

In short, Matthew Vaughn can keep his track record free of bad marks, but Kingsman: The Golden Circle showed the begins of compliancy.  I fear mounting pressure from big studios could crush a talented director, and I sincerely hope that fear is unfounded.

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