Review: ‘Kingsman 2’ Has It All in Excess, But Doesn’t Surprise Us

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ serves the same template, amplifying it by many counts. But doesn’t surprise us.

Movie Reviews
3 min read
Review: ‘Kingsman 2’ Has It All in Excess, But Doesn’t Surprise Us

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Kingsman wants to make fun of everything that comes its way. It takes Julianne Moore, easily one of the finest of the movie actors, to play a character that caricatures the very expressions that have cemented her as a woman who hides a world of torment behind prepared smiles. She is Poppy Adams, the czarina of an international drug cartel who lives in a manufactured Eisenhower era world with bodyguards, metal dogs and a meat grinder that misses the bone of black humour.


You also get a little of two more Oscar winners, Jeff Bridges mumbling his lines after a drink, Halle Berry relegated to another bout of nothingness, and as the wonder drug of sequel goes, a resurrected Colin Firth, in and out of amnesia to serve you the same old delightful meal of manners.

A still from Kingsman: The Golden Circle
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

But the curse of the sequels seems inescapable yet again. When Matthew Vaughn ushered Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014, it sent James Bond to cheeky hollows with its putrid wit and violent action. It felt fresh and almost everyone cheered for it.

Three years later, the sequel serves the same template, amplifying it by many counts. But what made the first one unique was its impulsiveness, in serving action and humour in a way we can’t expect from this template, and a well-tailored man like Firth.

The sequel has it all, even in excess - a delinquency Mr. Vaughn could be charged for - but it doesn’t surprise us.

The plot this time goes straight into the point, of Moore’s Poppy wiping out Kingsman’s hiding places, and a toxin that can kill millions worldwide. Following the doomsday protocol, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) reach Kentucky, and we get Statesman, the American version of Kingsman. We’re told Yankees are better suited for liquor, unlike Kinsgman’s preferred disguise of a tailored joint.

So Statesman and Kingman get together to save the world, with action as ridiculous as impossible, amusing nonetheless.
A still from Kingsman: The Golden Circle
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

Mr Vaughn doffs his hat to two singing legends, one American, another British. The American legend in question is late John Denver, whose “Take Me Home, Country Roads” finds itself in an unsuspected recital by Merlin. This is the third time the West Virginia hymn has appeared this year, following Alien: Covenant and Logan Lucky.

The other legend, from the British side, however, is very much alive and very much kicking - Elton John in a startlingly outlandish role of a captive who comes to our heroes’ rescue with heels, kitsch goggles and rainbow feathers.
A file photo of Elton John. 
(Photo: AP)

The rest is all serviceable, though we suspect Mr Vaughn is slowly getting entombed in his own subversive imagination, much like Wes Craven who satirized slasher and horror tropes in Scream, only to later become the very film it set off to mock.

(The writer is a journalist, a screenwriter, and a content developer who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. He tweets @RanjibMazumder)

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