The Cambridge Geek

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I really enjoyed the first Kingsman. It was a fun spin on the Bond series, with a lot of style and over-the-top action and characters. The sequel is effectively more of the same. It's just not quite as good.

A lot of elements of this are strong. The character arcs held my attention, and the characters themselves were very well built. They were complex, tended to be believable and I actually cared about them. In particular, the main villain's Dragon, played by Edward Holcroft, was excellent. Other fine examples are Eggsy and his Princess (rescued at the end of the first film), the returned Colin Firth and the US President, who was depressingly believable. I also really enjoyed Elton John, though an unofficial survey puts me very much in the minority there. The interpersonal conflicts were wrenching in some cases, allowing a real feeling of the tension between espionage and personal relationships.

Action sequences again were the stylistic cool we saw in the first film. They're still beautifully put together examples of fight choreography, with the exception of the very first sequence. The first few minutes of the film are ruined by terrible CGI and an over-exuberance on the part of the choreographers. It's rather hard to precisely phrase my discontent, but if anything, I would describe it as "excessive". Over-the-top is one thing, pushing it too far is another. This film could have done with a bit of hacking back. It also takes a bit too long to get going.

Honestly, it could have done with a bit of hacking back in general. They were trying to tell too many stories and the film suffered because of it. All of the individual plots were interesting, but en masse it got a little boring. Not really helped by the main villain not being terribly thrilling. Julianne Moore had a lot of promise, and I enjoyed her theme, but she never really did anything. Also, her henchmen were just rubbish. Her human henchmen, that is. I liked the killer robot dogs.

Still, it had a decent number of comedy moments. The reveal of the Statesman codenames is fun. And throughout it it's a fairly cheerful romp. And the fight scenes really are impressive. They drag on a bit too long, but if you enjoy well choreographed set pieces, you'll get a lot out of them.

Not as good as the first one, but not terrible.


Tagged: Film Spy fiction Guns and explosions Fiction Cinema