KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must join forces to defeat a common enemy that threatens the world.
Review by Louise Keller:
Amid a slew of fancy action, spectacular locations and the same wry humour that made the 2014 film a smash hit, the sequel is more of the same - a wonderful mix of zany ideas and slick execution. Based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, clever scripting (again by director Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman) offers a natural expansion to the franchise, shifting London's Savile Row and bespoke tailors to whiskey-filled Kentucky, home of John Denver's Country Roads, a song that features prominently throughout. Once again it's a scrumptious mash-up of the spy movie genre whose blend of action, satire and spoof forms an intoxicating cocktail.
Honour, bravery and loyalty are the themes and the film begins with an eye-opening action sequence featuring mind-boggling gymnastics in a London taxicab that impossibly drives sideways and underwater. Quickly the essence of the Kingman's spy organisation is established along with the characters that are as diverse as they are entertaining. Heart of the film is the relationship between baby faced Taron Egerton's Eggsy and Colin Firth's super cool spy Harry Hart, who trained the former London punk and is now obsessed by butterflies. But there is no shortage of memorable characters, stars or gadgets.
Julianne Moore's megalomaniac drug lord Poppy with a penchant for 50s retro, robotics and Fargo-style grinder is a formidable villain; her red hair blends with the blood red, white and black decor. This is a film filled with style and sassy substance. Then there is the allied Kentucky spy organisation Statesman, whose cowboy spies (Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal) have a pedigree as notable as their alcoholic beverage names (Champagne, Tequila and Whiskey). Plus, there is Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Emily Watson, Edward Holcroft and Bruce Greenwood as the US President. Interesting to note the Kentucky spies wear aviator glasses, as opposed to the London spies' black-rimmed variety.
There are numerous highlights including an out of control cable car spinning down the snow covered Italian Alps, a royal romance, sleeping with the enemy at a music festival (watch for the controversial shot!) and Elton John a vision in pink feathers and playing a red grand piano. It's a little long, but who's complaining, where there is so much fun to be had!
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Made in the spirit of an animated movie - now that movie technology can do what previously was only possible in animated films - Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a robust (occasionally foul mouthed) and multi-faceted spy thriller which mixes humour with grit and gruesomeness. The story, the characters, the weapons, the stunts, the fights and the spectacle are all comic book stuff, pushed to the limit. We flit around the world in an instant, defying geography and time.
The film takes to extremes like ducks to water as it races (in 141 minutes) through a story no more complex than a good old James Bond movie: a mad baddie poised to destroy humanity must be stopped.
The mad baddie, Poppy, is played by a deliciously cocky Julianne Moore, holed up in the middle of verdant nowhere (to keep safe), but so connected by technology she can even broadcast to the world, US President (Bruce Greenwood) included. Taron Egerton makes a terrific baby-faced spy, Colin Firth is reliably low key as veteran Kingsman Harry Hart, Mark Strong oozes authority, Channing Tatum is languid, Pedro Pascal is intense, Jeff Bridges is authoritative as the head of the US spy bunch known as Statesman, for the bourbon they make, down in Kentucky, and the entire supporting cast is marvellous, not least Elton 'outrageous' John.
From the wild opening sequence to the climactic battle in the jungle, there are few moments of respite, and even those are tense.
If you want to read it that way, the film's message is 'don't do drugs' but you can just as easily take it as a satire on the 'war on drugs'. Still, the screenplay is filled out with enough emotional ballast to allow audiences to connect with characters and situations that transcend mere action, but it's the action that delivers the traction. Love, friendship, loyalty, betrayal and duty all get a look in, as the bespoke tailored spies battle to save the world.
Email this article
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (MA15+)
CAST: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Poppy Delevingne, Hanna Alstrom, Vinnie Jones, Edward Holcroft, Elton John, Bruce Greenwood, Lena Endre
PRODUCER: Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughan
DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughan
SCRIPT: Matthew Vaughan, Jane Goldman (comic book by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: George Richmond
EDITOR: Eddie Hamilton
MUSIC: Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Darren Gilford
RUNNING TIME: 141 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 21, 2017