Is it any good?
Remember that alright ﬁlm from a few years ago that was a whole in-joke about James Bond and didn’t have much of a lasting effect on audiences? Yeah, well, they’ve made another for some reason.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Dir. Matthew Vaughn, 141 mins, Cert 15)
Following directly on from 2015’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn has returned to helm its sequel, this time not based directly from a graphic novel, but from an original screenplay. If you want to infer anything from that information it’s that they’ve basically just made it even crazier.
Featuring an all star cast of Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Kingsman regulars Colin Firth and the oh-so-awful Taron Egerton, this ﬁlm does very little for it’s American counterparts. Bridges and Tatum are both criminally reduced to minor supporting roles, Tatum in particular, whilst we get more of Egerton’s grating cockney voice and faux street mannerisms. The ﬁlm has some convoluted plot about drugs being tainted with poison and someone holding the key to an antidote, the classic entire-world-in-peril situation that we’ve all become so weary of, including the marketing team of the ﬁlm themselves as each of the character posters features a tagline poking fun at just how absurd these ﬁlms really are. But… that doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook, they still are incredibly absurd.
Undeniably, the star of the show is Elton John, playing himself - and very well for that matter. His normal camp and sweary self is at his best bringing the ﬁlm back down to earth every so often after the series of intense action scenes set to pop music that seem to happen at least once every ﬁfteen minutes. Although, the self-awareness of what Vaughn has created is not lost on me. They know it’s very camp, they know how wildly over the top these ﬁlms are meant to be, but who is that for? This is a ﬁlm that could not have been made 15 years ago, the technological advancements that the ﬁlm uses to its advantage in every single scene are so over-bearing that they appear to rob the ﬁlm of any discernible character. Everything looks fake, because it is. No one really did anything for real, no one was really in danger or speeding down lanes, and either consciously or subconsciously - an audience knows this, and it affects their response to what they see. If it never really happened it’s incredibly easy to be blasé about what you are seeing, which is the way I reacted to the entire ﬁlm.
This is simply a continuation of the ﬁrst picture, it’s no bigger, it’s certainly not better. If you loved the ﬁrst, go check it out. If not - this won’t change your mind