Kingsman: The Golden Circle doubles down on the crass humour that the first thought was subversive, all the while indulging in the worst traits of Bond films and predecessor The Secret Service alike – only this time, it’s boring.
Yet again the Kingsmen are reduced to a small group of heroes following a big attack, which eventually leads to their American counterparts, the Statesmen, a group of Stetson-wearing secret agents. With the introduction of the Statesmen, are flashes of the goofiness that made the first Kingsman enjoyable, but as with everything else in this film, any charm wears off quick. The boring plot might be close to redemption were the action scenes not as dull and repetitive as they are. Tricks that provided brief moments of fun in the first are repeated to diminishing, disorientating returns as the camera manically whirls around each fight scene.
The Statesmen are pretty indistinctive when you take away the cowboy hats; what looks to be very welcome fresh blood to the series ultimately doesn’t amount to much other than a quick parade of familiar faces. None of them appear for very long, outside of Pedro Pascal’s Agent Whiskey, not much of the Statesmen really make much of an impact. Halle Berry and Julianne Moore are given nothing to do but sit behind screens or stand behind counters – the rest of the film’s women are left to be sex objects, or die. Or both, really.
The Golden Circle redeploys basically every trick it can recall from the first instalment, all but begging you to like it again – a semi-ironic pop song cue here, a camera locked onto a swinging fist there. Throw in some tone-deaf one-liners and gags, rinse and repeat until the film somehow manipulates time itself, turning a bloated two hours plus into an eternity.
CAST: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges
DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
WRITERS: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
SYNOPSIS: The ‘Kingsmen’ join their US counterparts, the ‘Statesmen’, to save the world from an international drugs kingpin.