I’m going to be honest, I hate sequels. They are unnecessary money poachers that do more harm than good to fans and the industry. When I heard there’s a sequel to the 2014’s smash-hit Kingsman: The Secret Service, I was less than elated. What was the point? Everything that needed to be said in the first movie reached a satisfactory conclusion. We’ve lost Kingsman mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth), Eggsy (Taron Egerton) proved himself to be a deserving secret agent man, and do we really need to hear Samuel L. Jackson’s questionable lisp another time?
However, The Golden Circle is not just your average sequel thrown together for the sake of bleeding its fans dry. It is the true definition of why fans want to see a sequel — because the original was so incredible, its hard to let these characters just live on in our heads. As a result, when a sequel is created for this purpose instead of how quickly it can strangle the life out of characters, you get a movie that pays homage to the past while forging ahead to new adventures.
The Golden Circle is unapologetically outlandish with action sequences that’ll make the Fast and Furious franchise jealous. It’s full of violence, stylized fight choreography, and a plot so ridiculous you wonder how it was green lit. However, its saving grace is its heart and humor that makes us invest in the characters’ struggles and emotional well-being.
Eggsy’s world is completely flipped upside down when a mysterious drug cartel focused on government control destroys everything he’s ever known and loved. Despite still being green to the world of espionage, he and his tech guru Merlin must recruit the help of The Statesman, an America version of The Kingsman. Along the way, there are quite a few surprises awaiting Eggsy and The Statesman, including the return of Harry Hart, Elton John, robotic dogs, and the power of a good burger.
The Golden Circle ushers in a large new cast that manages to never drown out each other. Used to enhance the story (including Elton John), each new actor is allowed to truly shine. Julianne Moore becomes a guilty pleasure as Poppy Adams, the head of The Golden Circle drug-cartel, with an infectious plastered smile and a love for all things psychopathic.
Unlike the stuffy nature of the English, The Statesman is a Kentucky-based counterpart who represents the laid-back nature of Americans with their country twang and say-it-like-you-mean-it attitude. Despite their cultural differences, both agencies are made up of bad-assess. Run by Jeff Bridges as Champagne (aka Champ), his team includes a dancing Channing Tatum (Tequila), roping affectionado Pedro Pascal (Whiskey), and Halle Berry (Ginger Ale), who handles IT for the group. Each character shines on their own, providing for some truly laugh-out-loud and magical moments, especially from Pedro Pascal’s whip and Halle Berry’s onscreen chemistry with Merlin.
Despite’s The Golden Circle’s over-the-top script, it provides relevant social commentary about legalizing drugs and how society views drug users. It questions the humanity of drug users and the reasons behind their actions while presenting ideas from both the left and right side of the argument. Bruce Greenwood, as an over-the-top Trump-like president of the United States, is unflinching as a leader who is strongly against drug usage. However, he is being forced to negotiate with Poppy Adams. Emily Watson, who as the Chief of Staff and babysitter to the president, presents ideas for legalizing drugs — including the stressful nature of working a 20-hour day.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is smart, fun, and unique. It is sure to please fans of the original while also creating new fans. If nothing else, the shenanigans of Elton John are enough to at least put a smile on viewers faces.