Kingsman: The Golden Circle Review

An underwhelming sequel that loses the charm of its predecessor.


Jack Dillender, Editor-in-Chief

I love Kingsman. The first movie is a great throwback to the campy James Bond movies of the past and adds the over the top action and effects of the current blockbusters. It had lovable characters and a great mood and style. Its sequel does not. Kingsman: The Golden Circle steps on just about every aspect I really enjoyed from the first movie.

The story starts showing off the multiple throwbacks and characters from the last movie. Some of which were well done. We are introduced to the Princess, who was used as a joke at the end of the last movie, is now the love interest in this movie. A tragedy becomes of the Kingsmen and the only survivors are our returning protagonist, Eggsy, and another Kingsman agent. They are left alone until they find help from the Statesmen, the American version of the Kingsmen. Together they work together to stop the evil drug ring, the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle is the overbearing antagonist of this movie. It works in a good contrast with the last villain in the franchise, Valentine. Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Valentine as a great villain that wanted to commit mass murder but was afraid of blood. Very ironic and a well acted character. In this movie, our main villain is Poppy, played by Julianne Moore. A crime lord that just wants to come back to America, by allowing the legalization of illicit substances, to become the most successful and well known business woman in the world. She’s a good contrast to Valentine as that she enjoys violence, even going to the point in putting a partner in a meat grinder, turning it into a burger and making a recruit eat it.

Poppy, sadly, was not as well utilized as she was in the past. There were distractions from multiple other sources that muddle her as the antagonist and take away from her character. There’s the president and another character who come out of left field as villains in the story that have no need.

The protagonists themselves are not as good as well. Some of the best characters appear at the beginning of the movie and never again. Channing Tatum’s character is in the movie less than Elton John. Mark Strong’s Merlin and Taron Egerton’s Eggsy are the same strong characters. The revival of a past character, who would’ve been stronger if he stayed dead.

While I find that much of the plot is a conundrum of consistently confusing situations, the action, like the last movie is very good. It gives you fun scenes to watch without thinking of motivations or reasoning. The cinematography is well shot and enjoyable, however some of the CGI is off at points. The inventive look and feel of the last movie is still in this one and works well.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a disappointment in my mind. The subtraction of good characters and bringing monotonous characters to the forefront is a step backwards in the franchise. It keeps an upbeat feel, interesting visuals and an unique villain to fight. With this it’s still hard to look behind the shortcomings of this disappointing sequel. Overall, 4/10.

(Image used in feature is from IMDb)