Written by Rohan Angus – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist
Matthew Vaughan adds another unsatisfactory addition to an underwhelming year in film. ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ reunites the trio of Eggsy, Merlin, and Harry Hart as the world is held at ransom by the unconventional Poppy (Julianne Moore, ‘Still Alice’). Though its predecessor consisted of golden originality, ‘The Golden Circle’ relies too much on providing the exact same rather than offer anything new to the eager audience.
The second installment, of which is now promised to be a trilogy, did have some good aspects yet they were only weakened by the extensive run-time which eventually amounted to 140 minutes.
The obvious positive is the action sequences which flow perfectly in time with a very enjoyable soundtrack, one that embodies the films whole vibe – a bit of fun. In fact, the greatest scene in the film arrives in the opening, which sees our protagonist in a perfect duel with an old nemesis, Charlie. The gunshots and punches entangle flawlessly with the 80s hits, ultimately creating this intense beginning which sets up what could’ve been a promising film. As the minutes crawl by, Vaughan spends so much time regurgitating poor gags about Mark Strong being Scottish rather than flesh out some scenes with the premium cast – for example, Channing Tatum spends ¾ of the film wasting time in a recovery chamber, Jeff Bridges is given minimum screen time, and the encouraging villain in Julianne Moore doesn’t appear for over an hour. In my opinion, it would’ve been a much greater finale if the allies in Kingsman and Statesman (basically the Kentucky agency) mustered together a final assault on Poppy’s base.
Despite the complaints, Vaughan was effective in using Pedro Pascal (‘Oberyn Martell’, ‘Game of Thrones’). He produced an attractive performance that matched the quality of Egerton and Firth as he played Whiskey, a deadly whip-wielding agent driven by revenge. The character was a massive contributor in the films better scenes, including a blood-soaked bar-brawl and a face-off with the Kingsman themselves.
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ provides much of the same which results in a see-saw of good and bad aspects, all of which contribute to the score of 6. The action sequences were the products main drive, yet when you give Elton John more screen time than Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges, something isn’t quite right. The gags are very predictable and did not muster a snigger from myself, which combined with the lengthy run-time offered little more than your mediocre action movie.