Review: Fun movie, but too much plot and not enough characters.
I want to preface this with the fact that I really do enjoy the Kingsman movies – I have seen the first lm three and a half times, and this one really did hit all my favorite points of an action/spy movie; cool effects, interest- ing villains, awesome fight scenes, snappy dialogue, fancy gadgets, and car chases.
In this sequel to the 2014 movie, Eggsy (played by Taron Egerton) is required to join forces with the American version of Kingsman known as Statesman, after Kingsman is destroyed by a mysterious organization known as the Golden Circle. Of course, they’re in a race against time as the drugs created by the Golden Circle’s leader, Poppy, the crazy southern housewife stereotype, that haunts most 50s horror games, start to poison their users and she’s the only one with the antidote.
These movies play with the tropes of typical spy/thriller movies, and when it suits them they get tossed out the window, which I love. This, along with the fact that the series tries to subvert the idea of a classic spy lm a la James Bond – raunchier, with heavier themes than just “save the world from the bad guy”. Unlike the spy movies of old, Kingsman at least tries to have some sort of positive message woven in that I appreciate.
But no movie is without its flaws. And this one had many. First, its many, many sub plots. Whilst the first movie mainly stuck to two- Eggsy’s journey to becoming a Kingsman and the villain’s plan to x the world’s is-
sues – the second movie had several, some of which were merely touched on and never mentioned again. There were the issues between Eggsy and his girlfriend Tilde, Harry’s reinstatement as a Kingsman (played by Colin Firth), the inclusion of the States- man intelligence agency,
and at least a couple more. So many plot lines, with only so many scenes to feature them in, made the movie feel disjointed, underdeveloped and confusing.
In addition to the disconnected plot, there were new characters. Of course, a sequel needs new characters to avoid just retelling its predecessor, but damn, did they have to blow up a bunch of the characters from the first film? Roxy was one of my favorite characters from the first film, yet she’s only in approximately twenty minutes of the second lm, and only appeared as an information machine.
Not only that, the movie fails to make me care about any of the new characters be- sides Ginger Ale (Statesman’s equivalent of Merlin and the Q of the series, played by Halle Berry). Even Whiskey, the turncoat Statesman, only has his motivations revealed just before the last fight scene. Both organizations of States- man and Kingsman could’ve been developed much more, but were pushed to the side.
Despite Channing Tatum’s character (codenamed ‘Tequila’) featuring heavily in the trailers and promotion material, he barely has any screen time, only to get stuck in a cryo chamber halfway through the movie. In my opinion; not handled well.
But while the movie had its flaws, overall it was still really fun to watch. The main villain Poppy, played by Julianne Moore, was incredibly fun to watch, blending the image of a 50s housewife with a sadistic megalomaniac who makes burgers out of her underlings. I found the established relationships- the loving relationship between Eggsy and Tilde and the strong friendship between Roxy and Eggsy- to be refreshing and enjoy- able to watch. I also loved how Merlin, played by Mark Strong, came to the forefront as a new main character and a Kingsman in his own right, however brie y (I may not listen to Country Road for a while without crying). I also liked how the movie added depth to Harry- even going so far as to have a flashback of his own training as a Kingsman. Finally, I did enjoy the central theme- while the movie is pushing a “drugs are bad” message, it does make clear that those who do use drugs aren’t always criminals- and to think so makes you the bad guy.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was a pretty good movie. Was it perfect? No. Was it terrible? Denitely not. Was Elton John really needed in the story? The jury’s still out on that one. While the movie did well building on a few of our already established characters, it dropped the ball on a few others, added in some new ones, and then didn’t seem to want to put effort into those new ones. Nor did it keep track of all the different plot lines it had. Aside from the previous comments, it certainly was a fun movie, and I’m certain that I’ll probably see it again soon.