By Roshan Chandy (Nottingham, UK)


If there was ever proof of the statement that “sequels are rarely as good as their originals”, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is that in its physical form.

Despite Director Matthew Vaughn and Screenwriter Jane Goldman’s immense talent back behind the helm along with a conveyer belt of famous faces, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s high-flying spy spoof Kingsman: The Secret Service fails to deliver on its predecessor’s pulpy mix of Tarantino-esque exploitation and 007 espionage.

Falling into much the same trap as the awful Kick Ass 2 (2013) (of which’s comic-book source was similarly created by Mark Millar), The Golden Circle wrongly suggests that “bigger means better” as it systematically shifts action from its London-based, Eton-educated roots to the Country Roads of Kentucky.

Taron Egerton – supposedly 27, but looking no older than 19 – returns as the first film’s council estate thug-turned-superspy Eggsy.

Now living a lush life with his leggy blonde, Swedish princess girlfriend (Hanna Alstrom), Eggsy longs for the thrill-seeking finesse of his previous life; working as a secret agent for the undercover agency “Kingsman”.

The ideal opportunity for escapism arrives when a missile blows up Kingsman HQ.
With the institution’s highest members now vanquished, all who remain are Eggsy, Mark Strong’s sweary Scotsman Merlin and Colin Firth’s “deceased” Kingsman Harry “Gallahad” Hart (brought back to life by a super-enhanced gel in the most preposterous of manners!).

The film’s “menacing” threat arrives as an unusually below par Julianne Moore as a Vegan-hating, camp villainess with a ludicrous plan to legalize drugs. A plot device which backs up many Guardian writer’s theories that the film is a covert Conservative attack on the Liberal Left (is it a coincidence that the first film’s villain was an environmentalist?).

Good thing that “Kingsman” should have its own stateside equivalent ironically named “Statesman”. Cue a cascade of celebrity cameos ranging from a spectacularly buff Channing Tatum, Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal channeling a slurring Johnny Depp to Elton John “tiny dancing” as an embarrassing shadow of his former self and The Golden Circle begins to resemble a naff ‘Austin Powers’ parody!

To say the film is stupid beyond belief is understating yet where its predecessor had a funky edge, this sequel bounces around like a boisterous deflating balloon!

Despite the melodic twang of John Denver blaring against the soundtrack, every martial arts mad fight sequence appears to have been choreographed by a cokehead yuppie unable to locate his latest line. I spent every second of the film’s taxi-speeding opening wishing Edgar Wright had been behind the camera.

Most criminal, however, is a return to much of the grossly inappropriate, lad mag humour that hampered the original. One grossly inappropriate scene involves the sexual planting of a tracking device into a hooker at Glastonbury. A guarantee to offend female audience members of all ages and only providing false ammunition for Thatcher-worshipping Daily Mail readers to bash today’s working class male youth!

It leaves an obnoxious, sour taste in the mouth. I expect better from Director Vaughn and Screenwriter Goldman…

Rating: 2/5



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