(Possible Mild Spoilers)
I loved the first Kingsman. It’s loud, brassy, and irreverent tone made for a fun send-up of the spy movie genre while its over-the-top action made still made for an enthralling and spirited viewing experience. So, going into its sequel, The Golden Circle, I was cautiously optimistic. I so wanted it to be the follow-up that the first film deserved. In short, it proved to be a decent successor.
While Kingsman: The Golden Circle will probably not supersede the original in anyone’s opinion, judged on its own merits the sequel has a lot to offer. The entire film seems to take the bigger-is-better approach to film sequels; the action set-pieces having been amped up considerably. In places, the action scenes bleed one right into the next leaving the viewing in a state of breathlessness. This does not apply to the movie as a whole, though. In fact, The Golden Circle is a slower, darker, and more cynical story than its predecessor.
And if there was just a single flaw with the movie than it would be its more serious nature. The original Kingsman never took itself too seriously allowing one to revel in each and every absurd detail. The Golden Circle doubles-down on the absurdity (see Elton John’s extended cameo), but it feels at odds with this film’s moments of darker introspection.
The cast – everyone from the returning Colin Firth and Taron Egerton to newcomers Halle Berry and Julianne Moore – were incredibly fun to watch. Moore is especially enjoyable as the film’s villain and there were a few moments where she was genuinely chilling as the deranged (and aptly named) Poppy.
If one is hoping to spend two and a half hours watching a fun film, than he or she could do a lot worse than choosing Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It is the very definition of an entertaining film, but it simply cannot top the even more unashamedly fun original.