Two years ago, the film Kingsman took everybody by surprise. It was not slated to be a massive hit, despite the fact that the cast included actors as Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson. It was a breath of fresh air with amazing action scenes and a clever plot. While most other action films at the time took themselves too seriously, Kingsman poked fun at it all. Include Samuel L. Jackson who is super camp and hates violence (despite being an evil mastermind) and you have a winner. Over the years, Kingsman has become one of my favourite films. One that never becomes boring no matter how many times you watch it. When I saw that there would be a sequel, I was overjoyed. I watched Kingsman The Golden Circle, and naturally I had an opinion about it.
What is it about? (Mild Spoilers)
The Golden Circle takes off where Kingsman left off. After saving the world from Valentine’s evil plans, Eggsy is on his way home when he is attacked by Charlie, a failed Kingsman recruit. A car chase follows, which Eggsy just survives. He returns home to his girlfriend, princess Tilde of Sweden. While at a dinner party with Tilde’s parents, Eggsy’s house gets bombed, as well as other important Kingsman locations. Eggsy and Merlin go to Kentucky in America to get help from the Statesman, their American cousins. That is where the adventure begins.
Critics are not impressed
While Kingsman received mostly favourable reviews, The Golden Circle was deemed uninteresting and uninspirational by many. While it is not nearly as good as the first film, The Golden Circle has quite a lot going for it, actually. It does not pretend to be anything that it isn’t. When you go into this film expecting a deep storyline, you will definitely feel cheated. The Golden Circle, as its predecessor, relies heavily on gruesome violence, sex jokes and campiness. At the same time, it pokes fun at the genre and at itself, which makes it refreshing to watch. The fact that audiences flock to the cinema in order to see it, also makes it obvious that sometimes people just want to have fun when going to the theatre.
Friendship, Rivalry and so much more
While the plot is ridiculously outrageous, it is not just mind-numbing nothingness. Underneath The Golden Circle’s silly plot is a tale of friendship and sacrifice. In the first film, Eggsy lost Harry, but now he experiences even more loss and has to learn how to deal with it.
Apart from that, the inclusion of the American cousin of the Kingsman means there is a lot of room for rivalry. Naturally a couple of stereotypes are exploited, but they are exploited in a rather clever way. The actors all appear to have fun, which clearly shows and it is something that makes The Golden Circle a joy to watch.
While Samuel L. Jackson is obviously not in the sequel (he was fantastic in the first film), the flick still boasts an impressive list of cast members. Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal make up the American Statesman (all with matching names based on alcoholic beverages). Julianne Moore is the brand new villain and she is a great one at that. And let’s not forget Elton John. He was quite possibly the most hilarious thing about the film.
There are also quite a lot of familiar faces. Taron Egerton as Eggsy and Mark Strong as Merlin. The first film mostly depended on the chemistry between Taron’s Eggsy and Colin Firth’s Harry. If you’ve seen the first film, you are quite aware that Harry does not make the end of the first film. However, Colin Firth is brought back in this sequel. While I wasn’t really a fan of the way he was brought back, as it seemed rather cheesy, I enjoyed the film enough not to be too bothered about it.
Should you watch it?
Critics may not have enjoyed The Golden Circle as much, but audiences did. And when it comes down to it, that is all that matters. Do not expect it to be as good as the first one, but just go along for the ride. If you enjoyed the first film, you will love this one. If you hated the first film, then you’d better skip this one as well. But if you’re looking to be entertained and can handle a bit of violence, then The Golden Circle is definitely worth to watch.