Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Tagline: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” If the job of a tagline is to entice people into seeing the film, a vague reference to the first film probably isn't a great idea in my opinion, even if it is a Mark Twain quote (I think, don't fuck me on this google).

Premise: Sequel to the uber ridiculous, but highly entertaining Kingsman: The Secret Service, about a secret service, oddly enough. In this one, chav come spy Eggsy (Taron Egerton) has to team up with an American agency after an attack on Kingsman HQ. Julianne Moore plays a drugs baron with a dastardly plan and a love of the 1950's.

Execution: If you were to have to categorise the Kingsman series, they'd be somewhere between a spoof, and a loving homage. Less spy thriller, more action adventure with spies and jokes. The Martini drinking, well dressed elegance of the British secret agency Kingsman of course has obvious roots in James Bond. Fortunately though the writing team were smart enough to borrow good Bond (well dressed, cool gadgets, creative villains) not bad 60's Bond (I really don't need to go into detail here do I? Just watch an old James Bond film and tell me if you think his attitude is OK 100% of the time).

Talking of the villains, in the first film Samuel L Jackson camped it up brilliantly as Valentine, and this time Julianne Moore really dials the crazy up to 11 as drug “entrepreneur” Poppy. I won't spoil by way of details, but her performance is great fun. While Valentine's plan to control the world was related to mobile phone networks, Poppy's malevolent scheme involves, unsurprisingly, targeting the populace through her drugs trade. I think director/ co-writer Matthew Vaughan may be trying to say something about our blind mass consumption of certain products we don't know we can trust.

Kingsman: The Golden Shower Circle somehow ups the ridiculousness of the first, but maintains the fun factor. There's room for a few big name US actors, including Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum, and despite the lengthy run time of 2 hours 21 minutes, it doesn't drag, as the action bounces from set piece to set piece. Director Vaughan's visual flair works wonderfully and the cast deliver the wise cracks well.

Bedsit it? In the words on Monty Python, “It's all very silly”; and it really is. The famous Happy Days episode (Happy Days gets a mention in Kingsman, which may not be a coincidence) when the Fonz literally jumped a shark on a waterski, which birthed the derogatory by-phrase “jumped the shark” has nothing on the Kingsman films. They're so knowingly silly that it's fun again. There is a third film planned, and while some of the novelty wore off in two, it was still good enough for me to want to see a third. 7/10.


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