Kingsman sequel is golden
I absolutely loved the heck out of Kingsman: The Secret Service back in 2015 and ended up being one of my top ten films of the year thanks in due to Matthew Vaughn's direction and Colin Firth's spectacular performance. More than that though it was a really damn good spy film, one that knew how to be both serious and fun. Considering how well the first film was, I was slightly nervous that this follow-up would fall into the bad tropes that sequels tend to fall into. Luckily, Kingsman: The Golden Circle doesn't fall into too many of the pitfalls that hinders sequels. The plot takes place a year after the events of the first film where we find Eggsy (Taron Egerton), now a full-fledged Kingsman, getting into sorts of trouble when he goes toe-to-toe with an enemy that has ties to a secret drug cartel organization called the Golden Circle. Upon uncovering more about the group, Eggsy's world is thrown into chaos when his closest friends and the Kingsman members are taken out by the evil organization and their cutthroat leader Ms. Poppy (Julianne Moore). With limited resources, Eggsy heads to the U.S. to team up with the Statesman, the American counterparts of the Kingsman, to take on Poppy and her organization. Right from the start, the sequel gets audience immediately reacquainted with the world of Kingsman and doesn't slow things down for those who may have skipped the first film. And just when the sequel does so, it pulls an immediate 180 and changes the formula. In an attempt to keep the film from rehashing familiar territory, director Matthew Vaughn mixes things up by killing off some favorite characters way early on at the start of the film, weaving a tongue-in-cheek political commentary on the war on drugs as part of the plot, and employing a much more sinister comic humor than the previous film; the latter once again being weak just like the first film. The Kingsman films have a level of brandish wit that fits appropriately with the story but humor has never been the franchise's strong-suit; the gonzo-crazy action is what drives these films and The Golden Circle delivers on that front without any restraint. Although the sequel doesn't have a scene that will match the infamous church fight from the first film, the action here is still hectic and balls-to-the-wall. Another problem with this film is that some of the supporting characters aren't given that much to do i.e. Jeff Bridges' character who spends most of his time sitting in a chair talking to Eggsy and the other Statesman. Also, did we really need to see Elton John doing kung-fu wearing a rainbow feathered suit? All problems aside, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is still an entertaining sequel despite its' shortcomings and oversights. My only concern is that Matthew Vaughn and Fox don't run out of ideas of where to take the series next and start to milk this franchise because there is still potential for it to grow, and judging from how everything left off at the end of this sequel, there's still hope.