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article imageReview: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ takes its crazy gunplay overseas Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 25, 2017 in Entertainment
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ pairs the British organization with its American counterpart to stop an eccentric drug lord who wants to graduate to world domination.
Everyone is familiar with the usual protectors, such as first responders, military and government agencies, but the fictional, secret defenders can be so much more interesting. Cloak-and-dagger codenames, classified missions, undisclosed locations, unparalleled skill, and technology most people never even dreamed could exist are just some of the elements that make this genre so attractive. For decades the Brits have had James Bond, but more recently audiences were introduced to the Kingsman. And now picking up after the terrible tragedy that concluded the first film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes on a new threat that will tear them apart.
Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a.k.a. Galahad, has been coping well with the loss of Harry (Colin Firth), also a.k.a. Galahad, balancing Kingsman missions alongside friends’ birthdays and dinner with his girlfriend’s Royal parents. However, a drug cartel headed by a mad eccentric named Poppy (Julianne Moore) is determined to takedown the Kingsman and the world’s ban on narcotics. Depleted resources force Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) overseas where they must seek the help of the Statesman, the US version of their agency. Using advanced technology and a fast-acting toxin, Poppy is holding a section of the world’s population hostage and the two groups will need to pool their knowledge and gadgetry to stop her.
The key players for the Statesman are the organization’s leader, Champagne or “Champ” (Jeff Bridges), their version of Merlin, Ginger (Halle Berry), and their field operatives, Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Tequila (Channing Tatum). Unsurprisingly, their initial introductions are a little rocky since neither apparently knew the other existed and their manner of doing things differ stereotypically: the Brits are reserved and rational while the Americans are brash and unreasonable. However, the Statesman do have some exciting gadgets as well as something that interests the Kingsman far more — an old friend.
These films are intended to be over-the-top with unbelievable weaponry and highly eccentric villains. The first boasted a boldly coloured Samuel L. Jackson taunting the Kingsman with a speech impediment; now they have Poppy, who is obsessed with ‘50s nostalgia, a technical genius, a ruthless leader and a huge Elton John fan — so much so, she keeps him imprisoned in her compound where she’s built an oversized auditorium in which he performs at her command. And while the flashy singer may not be one of the story’s villains, his theatrical performance is unquestionably one of its highlights.
The focus remains on the Kingsman, but the Statesman certainly add another dynamic to the mix… and more opportunity to deliver an exaggerated narrative. Tatum is afforded the chance to two-step, but his role in the overall picture is otherwise limited. Pascal is the agency’s field representative in this movie, though it appears the rest of the team will have more time to shine in future installments. This film doesn’t exactly measure up to its predecessor, but it maintains some excitement, humour and charm to keep things fun.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong and Julianne Moore
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