“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”: a golden movie but a silver sequel


“Kinsman: The Golden Circle” was a great movie, almost as good as the first Kingsman movie.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” was the surprise hit of 2015, making 414.4 million dollars total in the box office worldwide and was the second highest grossing movie the weekend it premiered – only topped by “Fifty Shades of Grey”. The first movie set high standards for the highly anticipated sequel “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” The movie is known for a mix of intense action scenes, laugh out loud comedy, and over the top villains, all of which live up to its R rating; the sequel is no different.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is set a year after the first movie and starts out fast-paced, jumping right into an action scene. The movie does have its slower moments but overall it was jam-packed. There were more themes, more subplots, more violence, more characters, and overall the movie was a lot more than “The Secret Service.” However, this doesn’t mean it was better than the first movie. It lacked the same smoothness that the first movie carried. The sequel seemed a bit choppy with so much going on, especially with all the different themes and new characters, which the soundtrack tried to combat using recurring themes. 

Some of the beginning action wasn’t surprising since it was revealed in the trailer that the movie starts out with a bombing by the Golden Circle, a drug cartel led by the smart and somewhat psychotic Poppy, portrayed by Julianne Moore. She was a  fun villain to interact with, especially because her taste for extravagance and love for the American dream. She was extremely smart and successful, which almost makes you admire her. Throughout the movie we see Poppy struggle with wanting to become a recognized businesswoman, which is the motivation behind her actions, and this almost makes you feel bad for her- almost being the key word. Poppy’s cruel nature and nonchalant use of violence to get what she wants definitely confirms that she is not a sympathetic or good person but a cold psychotic businesswoman striving for recognition.

The movie covered the sub-theme of America’s drug issue well, especially using Pablo Pascal’s character, Agent Whiskey, to balance out the different sides of the issue. Overall the movie seemed to communicate that genocide is not acceptable and that just because someone does drugs it doesn’t make them a bad person. This theme was highlighted by Emily Watson’s character, the president’s chief of staff. However, the movie still acknowledged the negative effects drugs have had on communities, with Eggsy mentioning that drugs have hurt his community growing up. 

Part of the reason “Kingsman: The Secret Service” did so well was the balance of action and emotion mainly with Eggsy and Harry’s father-son relationship. This was something many people, myself included, were looking forward to seeing in the second movie but were left unsatisfied with. After Harry regains his memories, which he lost due to an injury in the first movie, he is much more detached and not just because of medical issues. The way he interacted with Eggsy was colder and the relationship, which was a huge part of the first movie, seemed to not be there by the second half of “The Golden Circle.”

On the other hand, Merlin, the tech mastermind from the first movie, provided a good balance of emotion and action. Mark Strong’s performance of Merlin was some of the best acting in the movie and really helped to carry the overall story. He provided more emotional balance and we got to see even more of the character than we did in the first movie.

The sequel also introduced a lot of new characters as well as a new spy organization, which was my main concern going into the movie because I really favored the Kingsman organization. I’m glad to say that while the introduction of the group, Statesmen, was a bit rough overall, it was done well. I was also hesitant about the casting of Channing Tatum but he ended up not playing as much of a role in the film as advertised and instead I saw a lot more of Halle Berry’s character, Ginger, who I really enjoyed.

Overall “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” while not as good as the original, did well, making $381,181,364 at the box office worldwide and held the title of the highest grossing movie for two weekends, beating “It” by 10 million dollars opening weekend. Keeping in mind that this is a movie that without a doubt deserves its R rating, I would not recommend it as a family outing, but it definitely makes for a fun weekend with friends. I recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the first movie or the action-comedy genre.  


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