KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Running Time: 141 mins.
Premise: After the Kingsman headquarters and nearly every agent are wiped out in a series of bomb attacks, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) must join bonds with their American brethren, the Statesman, to stop the ruthless mastermind behind the bombings. Along the way, they are reunited with Harry (Colin Firth), who was presumed dead in the first film.
Behind-the-Scenes: Based on Mark Millar's graphic novel, the first Kingsman was a surprise hit in February 2015, legging it out to over $400M worldwide. Director Matthew Vaughn is back and scripting alongside his frequent collaborator, Jane Goldman.
The Good: The charm, wit and kinetic action sequences from the first Kingsman are thankfully still intact and on great display in this sequel. The cast seems to be having a blast, especially Elton John in a frequently funny supporting role - no mere cameo! Egerton really owns the role of Eggsy at this point, and it's nice to see him play opposite Firth and Channing Tatum (though the movie could have used more of him). Vaughn directs with lots of energy - the opening car chase is a knockout. The gadgets are inventive and cool, the suits are stylish, the song choices are clutch, and despite running nearly 2.5 hours, the movie never slows down for a second.
The Bad: Like most sequels, it's bigger and longer, with more bloat and lacks novelty. Vaughn and Goldman show little restraint or focus in their screenplay, jumping from one scene to another with wild abandon. Despite having a cool villainous lair, Julianne Moore can't quite live up to Samuel L. Jackson's baddie from the first film.
Should You See It?: Yes, I think if you dug the first Kingsman, you'll enjoy this one. It's a good enough sequel.
Star Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars.
Better Than: Kick-Ass 2, Spectre
Worse Than: Kingsman: The Secret Service
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