“Kingsman: The Secret Service” left audiences in awe two years ago with the well-thought out plot, intense action sequences and satire all rolled up into one clichéd spy movie. So it was no wonder that a sequel was born and brought into the world Friday night.
Despite the hype from the first film, this one fell flat. Although it does have a couple of shining moments, the new installment subtitled “The Golden Circle” does not live up to the standards of the first film.
It is an interesting piece to watch, but it certainly has its flaws, and it was different from the typical work we get from director Matthew Vaughn (“X-Men: First Class”). All of this put together will leave audiences feeling let down once it’s over.
“The Golden Circle” picks up about a year ago from where the first film ended and audiences are immediately thrown into a high-intensity and fast-paced action shot with the main character, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), and one of the villains of the story, Charlie (Edward Holcroft).
This is one of the more fascinating scenes throughout the movie because Vaughn has a brilliant directing style where fight scenes tend to be close-up, tightly framed and filmed in one long shot. All of his action scenes have a high intensity and are matched with slow motion effects that brings detail to the almost superhero-like movements, leaving viewers feeling breathless and awestruck.
This opening scene is where Vaughn’s talent truly shines through because it met all of those brilliant qualities, and it leaves fans with high hopes for the remainder of the movie.
Unfortunately for us, this is one of few shining moments. It is a disappointment that we do not receive nearly as many cleverly choreographed and comically violent scenes like we did in “Secret Service.” For an action film, it is a little odd that there is only a handful of jaw-dropping scenes, and that those scenes only last a few moments.
The film then carries on and audiences get reacquainted with Eggsy, a gifted agent who works inside of a spy headquarters hidden inside of a London tailor shop. Audiences get caught up with what has happened in the last year, and all seems fine and well, until we are introduced to the newest enemy, Poppy (Julianne Moore), a ruthless leader of a drug cartel.
Poppy appears to be a sweetheart—that is until she orders one of her goons to put a fellow member into a meat mincer, makes a hamburger out of him and wings a bunch of missiles at all the Kingsman organizations.
With scenes like this, along with a multitude of crude language, it is no surprise as to how the film got its R rating.
This then leads Eggsy and chief tech support Merlin (Mark Strong) to seek out help from Statesman, a similar intelligence organization based in the United States, that instead of hiding behind a tailor shop is disguised as a bourbon brewing company. Their members include Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), and “Champ” Champagne (Jeff Bridges).
The premise of this movie is good, but it all seems too familiar. Another villain causing mass genocide and trying to wipe out the entire human population—“The Golden Circle” has a nearly identical plot line to its predecessor.
This is not to say that the film lacks originality. It does have a very intricate story, and the few crazy battle scenes and witty humor does make it a fun movie to watch. It will leave its fans smiling, but that’s because the film is more focused on humor than its action.
And since the film is so focused on its humor, it makes the 2-hour 20-minute film feel as if it won’t ever end. Every single joke is dragged out and overused, such as one of its bigger cameos. It was hilarious seeing a certain music icon in the first scene, but after the fifth time seeing him, it gets to be too much and it’s no longer as funny as it was the first time around.
This is an “action” movie that tries too hard to be funny.
The film is doing well in its opening week; it has currently roped in $40 million and is dominating the box office. Despite the 51 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is still remaining a popular film that moviegoers from all over are going in to see.
Labeled as a comedy action spy movie, “Golden Circle” has a little bit of something for everyone, but just don’t expect it to be as great as the first one.
Anna D'Orazio is a student at Shippensburg University writing as part of Laurie Cella’s Reviewing the Arts for Publication class.