by Monica Hayes
Sit back, relax, grab your popcorn, your favorite beverage and enjoy the ride because the second edition to the Kingsman series, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is here and it is just as fun and entertaining as the first!
When we last saw Eggsy (Taron Egerton), his mentor, Harry Hart (Colin Firth) was assassinated, he had defeated billionaire bad boy Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), and he saved the world and Swedish Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Now, as a full member of the independent secret organization, the Kingsman, Eggsy now has taken on his former mentor’s moniker: Galahad. As he walks out of the Kingsman Tailor shop, he is confronted by rejected Kingsman recruit by Charlie (Edward Holcroft) who now has a bionic arm and robotic voice box from their last encounter. What happens next is right out of The Fast and the Furious. The two begin an epic battle inside a supped up taxi speeding and drifting through busy London streets, while Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” plays in the background. After the battle is over, Charlie’s bionic arm is left in the car and hacks into the Kingsman system.
This hack enables Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), a batshit crazy businesswoman who built a multi-billion dollar drug company, the Golden Circle, and who prefers to surround herself with robots and mechanical dogs than humans, with the exception of Sir Elton John, access all of the addresses to Kingsman agents and headquarters which she promptly bombs. With all Kingsman agents and locations destroyed, Poppy is free to execute her plan to corner the drug market and be recognized as a savvy businesswoman. In her effort to accomplish her goals, she attempts to blackmail the United States President (Bruce Greenwood) with the death of millions of people around the world with her tainted drugs unless he agrees to her terms. Only then will she release the antidote.
Unbeknownst to her, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) were spared from her bombs and have enacted the Doomsday Protocol which takes them to the United States to a whiskey bottling plant in Kentucky and to their sister agency, The Statesmen. The Statesman Headquarters introduces a new set of characters: the head of the organization, Champagne (Jeff Bridges), nerdy support tech, Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), the hot agent, Tequila (Channing Tatum) and the Burt Reynolds look-alike Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Once properly introduced, to their surprise, Eggsy and Merlin discover Harry is not dead. He has been with the Statesmen since surviving a bullet to the head in the last movie. Only one problem, he has amnesia.
Originally, Eggsy and Merlin were supposed to work with Tequila, but when he starts showing signs of a blue rash, later revealed to be a poison in the drugs supplied by Poppy. They are then teamed up with Whiskey and a now revitalized Harry to stop Poppy and the Golden Circle.
There is definitely some real-life resemblances in some characters. One, in particular, comes to mind. Egerton pulls off a now more mature Eggsy flawlessly than he did in Secret Service. Julianne Moore seems to flourish and is having way too much fun with her role as the villainess Poppy. Pedro Pascal, who most will remember from his role as Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne in HBO’s Game of Thrones, comes off as a hokey country cowboy version of Burt Reynolds with double six-shooters and an electric lasso. Halle’s Ginger and Channing’s Tequila characters really don’t enhance the plot of the movie and their back stories are underdeveloped. Too bad, the writers could have gone in so many directions with these two.
The Golden Circle is action packed from the opening driving sequences, mansions blowing up, reminiscent of the way Wanye Manor blew up in the Dark Knight. A lot of James Bond overtones from the snow covered mountain top Moonraker-esq cable car scene and the secret lab in mountains in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to the end sequence.
The Golden Circle is not as brash as the previous Secret Service, but it has its moments. There is a scene with a tracking device that will have your jaw drop to the floor, or you will laugh so hard, that you will be on the floor. There is also a Scorpion from Mortal Kombat moment, meat grinding, and a proper cowboy shootout equipped with fancy lasso tricks. Oh and I cannot forget Sir Elton and his many flamboyant costumes gets into the action as well.
Overall, Kingman: The Golden Circle is a fun and enjoyable movie to watch.