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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

Movie Review: ‘Kingsman 2’ fights ‘sequel slump’

Sequels are more or less guaranteed in today’s cinema landscape. The advent of the superhero movie has brought with it an endless stream of twos, threes, fours and so on, all to milk the cash cow that is Hollywood. While this is not necessarily a bad thing (films like “Spider Man 2” and “Captain America 2” have been wildly successful), it can very much cause problems that are not just limited to a lack of originality and bad films.

Matthew Vaughn, acclaimed director of 2010’s “Kick Ass,” and 2014’s “X-Men: First Class,” brought Mark Millar’s beloved short comic series “Kingsman: The Secret Service” to the silver screen back in 2015. Many viewers were seeing the movie as the spy genre for a new generation; a cocky new recruit with nothing left to lose but save the world was exactly the top of hero that audiences crave for in today’s theaters. It was a sleeper hit, raking in over $400 million in sales with raving reviews from critics as well. A sequel was all but assured and on Sept. 22nd, 2017, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was released.

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In the first Kingsman movie, we saw Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, struggle his way into the secret service, being taught by Merlin (Mark Strong) and Galahad (Colin Firth). When all others failed, the intrepid trio worked together to save the day. Directed by Matthew Vaughn once more, the Kingsman sequel follows in the vein of what made the first movie so successful: over-the-top action. The action scenes and set pieces are incredible from start to finish.

From ridiculous car chases to unbelievable shootouts, the action never stops and is never too much either. Matthew Vaughn knew where to put which piece of excitement so that the movie would never feel slow or off pace, and it is wildly successful because of it.

“Kingsman 2” brings back leads from the first movie: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, all of whom deliver fantastic performances. Newcomer to the series Julianne Moore plays a wonderful villain, even if her intentions seem a bit cookie-cutter, and the Secret Service counterpart, the Statesmen, led by Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal, was a perfect addition to the series that I hope continues to grow.

Where the movie falters is in the writing. While the first Kingsman was able to tread new ground for the action drama, the Golden Circle had to fight off the sequel slump while also trying to be better than the first film.

Some of the dialogue did seem too cheesy at times, and a few of the monologues by characters seemed to be at odds with the rest of the film. A few of the story and character arcs also felt out of place, and by the end of the movie, I left very happy and entertained, but also bittersweet and a little melancholy.

If “Kingsman: The Secret Service” helped to reinvent the modern action movie, then “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was more of the same. It was not at all a bad film, but it did feel too similar in some places. That being said, the movie was a fantastic ride, and I highly recommend it for series fans and lovers of the genre; you will not leave disappointed.



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