Swanner: After their headquarters is destroyed, the surviving Kingsman discover they have an ally in America. Both organizations must come together to save the world from a greedy drug cartel trying to kill millions across the world. KIngsman: The Golden Circle is based on comic book series called the The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, which pays homage to all those over the top British spy films and TV series from the 60’s. Matthew Vaughn once again directs.
Judd: The surviving Kingsman are Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong), and are led to the United States by a bottle of Kentucky whiskey where they met Tequila (Channing Tatum), Champagne (Jeff Bridges), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), and Ginger Ale, played by the ever-awful Halle Berry. They are The Statesmen, the US equivalent of the Kingsman, but financially much better off because booze sells better than tailored suits. Julianne Moore plays Poppy, the bitter megalomaniac drug dealer. Her question, “If poison like sugar and alcohol are legal, why can’t my drugs be legal, too?”
Swanner: The fun of these films is that it’s writing like a comedy action film, and not an action film with comedy. Everything is over the top. Poppy’s evil lair is an early 60’s mid-American street with a malt shop and movie theatre. The Statesmen’s belt buckles are flasks and the cowboy has a laser lasso. They take what the Bond films get away with, and take it just a bit further. It makes me want to break out my Avenger DVD’s and watch John Steed and Emma Peel kick some ass again.
Judd: I agree, the movie has some great gadgets and over the top spy sequences, that are definitely campy and played tongue-in-cheek, but it’s definitely not a satire. Matthew Vaughn and writer Jane Goldman want to have fun, but they don’t want to make fun of the reference material. It’s lightheartedness like this that makes movie like Guardians of the Galaxy and LEGO Batman so well received. We’ve said it before, and think that audiences are tired of brooding, angsty, “dark” action movies.
Swanner: It’s really nice to have a sequel that can stand up next to the original. I found the same satisfaction with the story and the performances. Even Haley Berry. I expected her to be awful and she didn’t disappoint. These are my kind of action films. Fun, wild action and a sense of humor. The good looking cast is just a bonus. Looking forward to the further adventures of the Kingsman.
Judd: There were some scenes that I thought carried on too long, I could have done without the romance between Eggsy and Princess Tilde, and the movie could have used more of both of the lovely Channing Tatum and Edward Holcroft
Swanner: 3 ½ stars
Judd: 3 stars