Director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman delivered one of the best spy films of the decade in 2015: “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” Two years later and now we have a sequel that is just as good.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” brings back the usual suspects: Taron Egerton as Eggsy, Colin Firth as Harry Hart, Mark Strong as Merlin and Sophie Cookson as Roxy. But it’s the new players in Halle Berry’s Agent Ginger, Channing Tatum’s Agent Tequila, Jeff Bridges’s Agent Champagne and Pedro Pascal’s Agent Whiskey who, together, form the Statesmen, that make this cinematic experience an exciting one this time around. Samuel L. Jackson is not back as the fascinating maniacal villain Richmond Valentine, but the new villain, Poppy Adams, played by Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, is a wonderful addition to the franchise. To top off the film’s heavy list of A-list actors is a hilarious cameo from Elton John, who must certainly return for the eventual third installment.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” follows Eggsy as he’s now in an intimate relationship with the Crown Princess of Sweden, Tilde (played by Hannah Alstrom). After Poppy infiltrates the Kingsmen’s inner networks and discovers their secret whereabouts, she nukes every one of those locations, unfortunately killing some key characters. With the world in danger and their headquarters in ruins, Eggsy and Merlin are left with one option: They must contact the Statesmen, their American cousins.
Once the Statesmen make their cinematic debut, the movie starts going bananas. That’s definitely a way to accurately describe it. There is so much action and fantastical special effects in “The Golden Circle” that it’s going to be hard for Vaughn to up the ante for a possible third film. Aside from the everlasting action, “The Golden Circle” capitalizes on Eggsy’s relationship with Tilde, which is definitely one of the best parts of the movie. Eggsy is the antithesis of the typical James Bond character and there is one scene in the movie, a rather controversial scene, that distinctly brings that to light. All of the characters in “The Golden Circle” are priceless additions to the franchise, but Agent Whiskey played by Pedro Pascal (who you may know from Netflix’s Narcos), is the definitive golden trophy. You’ll be wanting more of him when the credits roll.
But “The Golden Circle” isn’t perfect. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman made the mistake of killing beloved character Harry Hart in the first film. They made this same mistake again in “The Golden Circle” with not just one, but various beloved characters. Though they managed to find a way to resurrect Harry in the film, such measures take the stakes of death away entirely. Worst of all is that some character deaths seem completely irreparable.
To those Channing Tatum fans who wanted to see the actor unleash his inner Bond, I’m afraid you’ll be left disappointed as he barely appears in the movie. There is, however, a great takeaway from his screen absence at the end. Also, for a group of spies whose front is a liquor distillery, there is barely any drinking, but that’s just my little nitpick on the Statesmen.
Overall, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is an amazing movie with few misses. The comedy is great, the action is great and, at nearly two hours and a half of movie, “The Golden Circle” doesn’t feel long at all. While it doesn’t quite beat the first film, there’s still an incredible amount of fun in “The Golden Circle.” This is a movie you’ll regret not seeing in theaters.
Carlos Rosario Gonzalez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.