Over the top action of Kingsman sequel will please fans

Shrey Parikh, Reporter

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, a surprisingly great movie based on the comic book of the same name. It continues the story of Eggsy (code-name Galahad), played by Taron Egerton, a new recruit to the Kingsman British spy agency, as he and his fellow agents are once again called upon to save the world from a psychotic drug lord named Poppy, played by Julianne Moore.

Because this is a sequel, many people will be quick to compare it to its predecessor, with the common criticism that the sequel is always worse playing a large role in that comparison. And while this movie never reaches the heights of the first, it doesn’t really matter because The Golden Circle is still an extremely entertaining thrill-ride of a movie.

The action scenes have been dialed up to 11, and they retain the frenetic energy of the original. The opening and closing fight sequences are highlights, although there are plenty of entertaining fights sprinkled in-between, including a barroom brawl that acts as a throwback to the famous bar fight from the first. A new movie means new gadgets, and they are somehow even crazier than the lighter grenade and umbrella gun from the first movie. An electric lasso, briefcase gun, and baseball bat minesweeper all make appearances in the hands of several extremely capable super spies.

Speaking of the spies, the cast in this movie is fantastic. Returning actors Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, and Colin Firth bring back Eggsy, Merlin, and Harry/Galahad, characters that fans fell in love with in Kingsman: The Secret Service, while new characters are brought to life by an all star cast including Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Pedro Pascal, and Elton John.

Moore’s villain doesn’t have much to do and she sometimes slips into a cheesy Bond-esque villain at times, but most of the time, her manic portrayal is unnerving enough to work the way it’s supposed to, making a menacing impression on the audience that makes her believable as a threat to the movie’s heroes.

Tatum and Pascal are also entertaining as the Statesmen, the American counterparts to the Kingsmen who help Eggsy and his fellow agents in their fight with Poppy. Elton John’s cameo as himself is one of the best parts of the movie, the singer playing a role in the third act finale that leaves the audience in stitches.

Many of the problems from the original are still evident here. Director Matthew Vaughn’s style of directing action, while visually exciting and eye popping, is often times confusing and chaotic because of the frequent cuts and sudden changes in camera angle. The CGI is also not as clean as it could be, with explosions and other similar visual effects looking out of place as though they were just copied and pasted into the movie.

The Golden Circle also goes for the same shock value that the first movie did, as it contains lots of over the top violence that would definitely disturb many viewers. These scenes may alienate certain audiences, but people that were fine with them the first time around should be fine with it here. The movie is also much less subtle with its political message it is trying to push, and at times that can be irritating for people trying to enjoy a lighthearted and silly action flick.

In the end, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a perfectly decent piece of action entertainment that does more of what the original did and not much else. Fans of the first movie should like this one, but people who didn’t enjoy it probably won’t enjoy this one.