Kingsman: The Secret Service became a sleeper hit in 2014 making Taron Egerton a star to watch and showed the world Colin Firth could surprisingly throw down as an action star. Matthew Vaughn's stylish and comical spy story was seen as the Rated R raunchy version of James Bond and audiences couldn't get enough of the dapper Kingsman. Fans of the first film were excited for the potential of a sequel that could top the first and on paper, Kingsman: The Golden Circle looked to be even better than its predecessor. Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum come aboard as The Statesman equipped with fancy whips and a Whiskey company as the front for their secret agency. Also Academy Award winners Julianne Moore and Halle Berry join returning favorites Taron Egerton, Mark Strong and Colin Firth who round out the loaded cast. Looks can be deceiving though, which leads to some disappointment concerning this new installment.
Unfortunately, this sequel suffers from overkill at times with way too many characters shoved into the 141 minute running time of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Many of the new characters are just used as plot devices to move Eggys along on his quest to save the world from a 1950s loving Evil Drug lord named Poppy played by Julianne Moore. The Oscar-winning actress gives us a great weirdo, but her villainess is shoved aside at times for far less interesting characters like The Statesman. The US version of Kingsman are pretty pointless in the grand scheme of the story, which is a bummer considering they are a huge part of the marketing campaign. Channing Tatum's role is a glorified cameo and the creators could have easily pulled this storyline out of the movie and made Kingsman: The Golden Circle a much tighter film allowing the focus to be back on the characters we actually care about.
The abundance of players may hurt the overall storyline and character growth, but that doesn't mean Kingsman: The Golden Circle doesn't have some fun moments. Our new participants may lack depth, but the action is high-octane firing on all cylinders as Eggsy bounces around the globe to prevent a catastrophe. We get to see some new gadgets blow up some baddies, which is set to a killer soundtrack that will have you smiling and tapping your feet through all the headshots. The action set pieces will definitely help you overlook the flaws in the story and seeing Colin Firth's Harry Hart grab his umbrella again and join in on the fisticuffs is a pleasure to watch.
Besides the wild action (which is quite entertaining), the cast of talented actors really carry the lazy material on their backs to make Kingsman: The Golden Circle much better than it should be. Taron Egerton continues to prove he's one of the rising stars in Hollywood with his role as nice guy Eggsy who is charming and funny making up for the lack of heart in the script. Firth, Strong and Egerton prove they are the people meant to carry this franchise, but it's a shame the creators decided to force so much extra content into the mixture of an already winning formula. This leads to a dumbing down of the smart and sleek material from the original leading to a very predictable outcome for Kingsman:The Golden Circle.
Overall, I give Kingsman: The Golden Circle 2.75 out of 4 stars.
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