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Friday, April 13, 2018

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Please note: This review was written several months ago and originally published in my university's newspaper.

Sequels are precarious. Most fans are looking for a sequel that develops its own, special charm while also maintaining the original film's appeal. Some fans are simply seeking another round of entertainment. When it comes to Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," I was one of the latter fans. I imagine anyone expecting something fresh from this sequel will be disappointed, as it contains gobs of similarities to its predecessor. Probably too many similarities. However, "The Golden Circle" is still a wildly entertaining film and, personally, that's all I was really looking for.

"The Golden Circle" is an action/comedy that throws us into the happenings of a secret UK spy agency called Kingsman. Once again, we're following Eggsy, a young, formerly-rough-around-the-edges member of Kingsman. Everything seems to be golden for him: he has saved the world, become a hotshot spy, and started dating a Swedish princess. Too bad an isolated, sadistic drug lord named Poppy has other plans for him. She gathers intel on Kingsman and does everything she can to destroy the organization, forcing Eggsy to travel to the U.S. and join forces with an agency called Statesman to defeat Poppy.

There are a handful of plot decisions that I don't agree with. Without giving anything away, there is an event in the beginning that feels like a cheap way to get the plot rolling. There are also a few major conflicts throughout that could have easily been avoided with any sort of logic or communication. The major issue, though, is that the villain plotline is practically identical to that of the first movie: a wealthy, eccentric mogul of some sort has created a large-scale hostage situation. While I don't mind most of the similarities and rehashing done throughout this film, this one does bother me. I want to see the spies facing obstacles they've never quite encountered before. Instead, they've already conquered a situation just like this one, so it's hard to feel impressed.

Honestly, though, I'm willing to overlook those grievances, because this movie is so much fun. It is absurd and cartoonish while also being intense and interesting. There are predictable moments, but for the most part (especially during the action scenes) I was never entirely sure what to expect next from this film. "The Golden Circle" never fails to take dramatic turns I could never imagine, and that's what makes this film so engaging.

What I enjoyed most about this film was the characterization and the emotional aspect. While I still feel like we could delve deeper into these characters, I felt like we got to know most of them much better than we did in the first movie. We got to know what drives some of the characters. We got to see weaknesses. We got to see their strength. We dug deeper and it made them stand out to me much more.

Though it isn't a perfect sequel, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" is a delightful, engrossing experience, and left me feeling nothing but content when I left the theater.

My rating:

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