Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review
Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts with a bang, opening with an exhilarating, stylized action sequence, personifying everything that the Kingsman franchise is supposed to be about. The opening sequence reminds every viewer of why they loved the first movie and why they came back for more.
The movie is packed with many great moments and sequences. True to the opening sequence of The Golden Circle and the amazing action sequences of the first film, The Secret Service, the action scenes here are the highlight of the film. The action is a non-stop adrenaline rush. The audience can always trust the Kingsman franchise to deliver a good action sequence.
The addition of the Statesmen to the Kingsmen lore is absolutely fantastic. While the Kingsmen's code names are after Arthurian legends, the Statesmen's code names are based after different types of alcohol, which is definitely clever. Of the new Statesmen characters, MVP has to go to Pedro Pascal's Whiskey. Pedro Pascal showcases such a charming portrayal of 'Americana' that he easily overshadows Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum, with his cowboy charm and fantastic action sequences that were a beauty to behold.
Another standout of the Statesmen is Halle Berry's Ginger Ale. Halle Berry is perfectly cast here and Ginger Ale is the competent scientist of the group that every audience knows and loves. Julianne Moore's Poppy is a delightful portrayal of the type-A villain. Poppy is unique in her personality and the motivation for her master plan.
But where the movie fails is the third act. Director Matthew Vaughn stated that the original cut for Kingsman: The Golden Circle was 3 hours and 40 minutes long and it had to be cut to 2 hours and 21 minutes. The viewer can feel that missing hour and a half and that flaw shows in the third act. It feels rushed. And while it doesn't neglect the action sequences, the core of the film - the plot - suffers.
Bringing back Harry Hart also causes problems. The first movie heavily establishes that they’re not like ‘any other spy movie’ where characters somehow survive a strange death. So, it’s almost a slap in the face to the audience when they bring back Colin Firth’s character. The explanation of his survival from apparent death is a combination of 50 percent "makes sense" and 50 percent "the audience wants him back and anything will make sense."
At the same time, Kingsman: The Golden Circle kills off several characters, in ways that cannot be disputed, to prove the point that they're not any 'other spy movie'. It's a bit hypocritical—either let Harry Hart stay dead or bring him back and embrace the campy feel.
But, disappointingly, Colin Firth isn't as heavily involved as one would expect. One of the most amazing aspects of the first Kingsman film was to see Colin Firth, an actor who typically plays the British gentleman, play the cunning spy with gentlemanly qualities.
Similar to the first film, the movie presents a moral question for viewers to digest. Yet, this time the topic may be a bit too complex to be answered in the 141 minutes runtime.