By AGP (South Korea)

 

As I was basking the afterglow of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, I was humming Merlin’s song -Take Me Home – and looking up reviews of this splendid movie. The acerbic responses from movie critics, albeit no less blank than the shots that Harry fired to Mr. Pickle, deeply frustrated me and inspired me to write this sincere review.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a truly profound movie that deals with two critical issues of contemporary society. First, the legalisation of drugs. Second, the uprise of artificial intelligence and robots.

To begin with, The Golden Circle magnifies the issue of drugs through providing us, its audience, with the possibility of a drug monopoly exploiting its power and selling poisoned products to its customers. As drugs are illegal in many nations, consumers are forced to rely on the black market providers who are not legally required to adhere to regulations or obligated to have their products tested. One of the main reasons as to why this film is so powerful is because this is a plausible situation. Even if a black market drug monopoly were to poison its substances, the myriads of customers would be powerless and naive as governments condemning drug usage do not intent to protect its citizens. The film’s portrayal of drug users was also adequate in that many drug users live out ordinary lives and have successful careers despite stereotypes which dictate that drug users are incapable and poor. I also feel compelled to add that the movie reminds us that drug abuse it different from recreational drug usage. As Poppy, the mastermind behind the hostage maneuver, dies of overuse, we see her beauty, intelligence, and charm fade away by the second. The audience is once again remained of the harm of overuse.

Secondly, the film deals with the possibility of robots and artificial intelligence falling into the wrong hands. As with all scientific inventions, robots and artificial intelligence too have their ups and downs. Countless books and films portray situations in which mankind is subjugated to the will of their metal counterparts. Some, like the Kingsman, allow for mankind to be timely saved by heroic figures, whereas others, allow mankind to be reduced to ashes. By showing the mastermind Poppy utilise robots and artificial intelligence that clearly are not obeying the laws of robots set up by Isaac Asimov, we are once again reminded that without clear regulations and the monitoring of the public, science will take us by the hand and whisk us away into demise.

Even without all its social implications, The Golden Circle is a truly wonderful film. First and foremost, its lovable villains. Whiskey was a traitor that we could not help but feel sorry for (his sweetheart dies because of a gun fight between drug abusers during a robbery). At the final fight between the Statesman and over beloved Kingsman, we certainly are rooting for the two Galahads but we don’t really hate Whiskey. He helps us understand that villains have a story and motive too. Likewise, Poppy. Yes, I know that we don’t like her, but I really think that she had a vision outside of monetary profits. When Poppy was negotiating with the president of the United States, her stipulations calling for the legalisation of drugs and expungement of her crimes weren’t the greedy, monetary requests that I had in mind. Sure, one could argue that Poppy was planning to profit from her drug industry after the legalisation process, but I doubt the public would purchase from the woman that tried to poison them with her merchandise. I feel as if Poppy believed that drugs should be legalised, not because of her monetary gain, but because she felt it was the greater good.

And next, who can forget Merlin’s death. This was indeed the apex of the movie, that scene where you get to wipe away the tears of your bae and hold their hand – greasy with popcorn butter – in the darkness of the movie theatre. That he convinced Harry and Eggsy that they could all ‘run for it’ after freezing the land-mine was genius. That he sacrificed himself singing a song about returning home was heart wrenching. This scene was immediately followed by a hilarious scene starring John Elton, the captivated singer, which I thought was brilliant as it helped the audience stay with the movie rather than become overwhelmed with the grief of the previous scene.

Critics call this movie “ultraviolent” and “ultrasmutty”. I strongly disagree with this. Admittedly, this movie does have its fair share of fighting scenes. But they’re carefully maneuvered to reduce the violence. In the scene where the robot dogs were tearing apart a human being, the audience was directed to John Elton’s sunglasses and was shown a reflection of that scene through the lenses rather than the violence of the scene itself. Furthermore, the only smutty scene was where Eggsy was seducing a target. He doesn’t even have intercourse with her and does what any responsible secret agent who needs to save the world by sleeping with a completely hot seductive woman would do: call his girlfriend. When Tide, Eggsy’s girlfriend, is displeased, Eggsy strategically avoids having intercourse and ends things after a little foreplay during which he successfully places the tracker. He truly displays self-restraint and the triumph of love over lust.

But, then again, what do I know. I’m just a member of the intended audience.

Rating: 5/5

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