Kingsman: The Golden Circle
What’s it about? Kingsman, the British secret service operating from a Saville’s Row tailor’s shop, teams up with Statesman, its American whiskey-brewing counterpart, to fight the insane boss of the world’s biggest drugs cartel.
Who directed it? Matthew Vaughan. He produced Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), before moving into directing. Films include Layer Cake (2004), Kick-Ass (2010), X-Men: First Class (2011), and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).
Who is in it? Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and Mark Strong reprise their roles from the first Kingsman film (despite Firth’s character, Harry Hart, being very obviously dead after being shot in the head; apparently, he was saved by a magic gel and revived by microbots which rebuilt his brain; whatever). This time around, they are joined by Juliette Moore, as Poppy, the drugs mastermind; Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Halle Berry are members of Statesman.
My view: The first Kingsman film was a surprise box-office hit. I missed it in the cinema, but saw it recently on television; I thought it was edgy, energetic and funny. It was described as a punk-style James Bond, though I thought its immaculately-dressed and umbrella-wielding agents owed a debt to Patrick Magee’s character John Steed in The Avengers 1960s tv series.
I enjoyed it, despite the ending being partly spoiled by a spectacularly misjudged sex joke. The trouble with the sequel is that it expands and elaborates on the inappropriate and distasteful stuff (apart from the smuttiness, there are two gross scenes involving a giant meat mincer, and a truly gobsmacking sequence where a tracker is inserted into a certain part of a female festival-goer’s anatomy ), while at the same time forfeiting all of the style and fizz that made the first film such fun.
We are left with a ludicrous plot, pointless characters (including repeated cameo appearances by Elton John, simply to allow the film to reprise the original tasteless sex joke), and very leaden performances all round.
It is all very disappointing. It appears that Kingsman is being viewed as a franchise vehicle, but it’s already crashed.
Watch this film if: you are a barely-pubescent schoolboy with a bespoke-tailoring fetish.