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REVIEW — “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

This one hurt…

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman, and stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Sophie Cookson, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges. It tells the story of the Kingsman’s journey to an allied spy organization in the US after their headquarters is destroyed. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy. Okay… where do I start? Kingsmen: The Secret Service is seriously one of my favorite movies. It has great action, acting, characters, and is all around just a great time. So, needless to say, I was very excited to see this. So, it is with great displeasure I write this review. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a huge disappointment that seems to forget everything that was great about the first, while also just not being very good. This pains me to write. I couldn’t ever imagine not loving a Kingsmen movie.

Matthew Vaughn returned to direct and I’m not sure what he was thinking. He’s known for great projects like Kick-AssX-Men: First ClassStardust and obviously the first Kingsman. He really shocked me here. All the wit, satire, and general competence showcased in all of his past features are gone. He clearly misunderstood what everyone loved about the first entry because it’s almost all gone here. All the characters are silly and stupid, the jokes all fall flat, and it’s just feels very juvenile. Vaughn has crafted some great action scenes, but if you don’t care about the characters fighting what’s the point? He kills characters off seemingly just for fun and underutilized the whole cast. I don’t know if he wanted to try something different or thought people would like this but, the whole thing feels super off and wrong. I left the theater heartbroken.

Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman penned the screenplay, and I’m sorry they totally crapped the bed. The dialogue is at times laughable and I really don’t understand a lot of the decisions they made. The entire “Statesman” organization is just super silly. Kingsman, while silly, was still grounded and taken seriously. The Statesman are handled like idiots. They have silly accents, stupid weapons, and their headquarters is really stupid. All the jokes fall flat and they confuse shoving characters into this with depth. Also, all the political stuff was super mediocre. It was on the nose and very unneeded. Why in a spy spoof movie and I heard about the war on drugs. I’m just really hurt right now.

So this obviously has a great cast and I really can’t blame them. Taron Edgerton is great as always, I turned to my friend in the theatre and asked: Why isn’t he the most famous man ever? Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, and Jeff Bridges are severely under-used and Halie Berry has nothing to do in this. Colin Firth is horribly misunderstood in this. They give his character amnesia and if that’s not cliche enough, he’s condensed to a bumbling idiot. It’s just, so upsetting a great cast like this was wasted on something as disappointing. Maybe they’ll give us a strong sequel, but this really isn’t cutting it for me.

On a technical level, this is very solid. I can’t deny it that. The action is sleek and well filmed, everything looks fine, and there are some cool shots. There are a few obvious effects, but nothing too jarring or medicore. The soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired but other than that, everything is passable. The packaging of Kingsmen: The Golden Circle is great, it’s just what’s inside is very much not great. I wish I had more to say about this, but it’s just not good. I could list every issue I had with it but that would be tedious and wouldn’t help anything. This should have been great, it should have been one of the best of the year but it’s not. For a sequel to one of the best action movies of the decade, I’m having trouble remembering much of it.

In short, I clearly was not happy with Kingsman: The Golden Circle. I just wanna lay down for a little bit. Manners Maketh Man. 2/5

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