Director Matthew Vaughn wants to make a third film. (Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)
Mathew Vaughn, producer and director of “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” returned to produce and direct the second installment of the Kingsman franchise. He was challenged with meeting the expectations set by the first film released in 2014, and he does not disappoint.
Where the first “Kingsman” movie tells the story of series protagonist Eggsy’s (played by Taron Egerton) experience going through the Kingsman interview process to join the service, the sequel shows what the day to day life looks like on the job. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” picks up with Eggsy working as an official Kingsman spy, but still making mistakes and figuring out how to master his craft.
Peace does not last long however, as The Kingsman organization immediately faces adversity when the London headquarters is blown up by a missile, as shown in the trailer. This leaves the few remaining members solely responsible for regrouping the secret service, and forces them to seek out help from The Statesman, the “American cousin” to the London based organization. The Statesman have some of the qualities that fans love about the Kingsman organization, but they also bring to the table a gritty style, a southern attitude and of course their own set of awesome gadgets, including an electrified lasso and some good ole revolvers.
The official trailer for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” also revealed the resurrection of Eggsy’s mentor Harry (aka Galahad), played by Colin Firth, who was presumed dead after the previous movie. Harry returns in a way that might be unanticipated to audience members, and audiences get to explore details of his personal life that were never touched in the first film.
This movie has an underlying theme of drug use and legalization that feels very relevant during the time of its release. The legalization of marijuana in various states across the country is raising discussions on the ethics of drug use and criminalization, and including these modern debates in the film with compelling arguments on both sides forces the viewer to consider their stance on the issue and makes the film feel more realistic.
The producers were able to recruit some big Hollywood names to add to the already talented cast list, such as Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges, who each brought something new to the table. Even still, the star of the show is Egerton, and while he was excellent in the first movie, he has only become better at playing a charming, sophisticated British spy in the sequel.
Eggsy’s character development is drastic and visual in the first movie, as he transforms from a hoodlum to a gentleman. In “The Golden Circle,” however, the character’s growth is more introspective, as he deals with the death of his mentor Harry (aka Galahad), balancing an exclusive relationship while putting his job first and being tasked with saving the world once again.
The only weaknesses the film had were the over-use of the close-up, frantically shifting camera angles for the action sequences and the occasional use of spy movie clichés that cannot be discussed without giving away the plot.
Overall, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is a great stand-alone movie, with a one-of-a-kind style and filled with non-stop entertainment. The Kingsman franchise is a refreshing take on the spy movie genre, and has set a strong foundation to create a solid trilogy or even a cinematic universe.
Final Grade: B+