By Frank Portillo
While as entertaining and action-packed as the first, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” contains too many plot holes and becomes too predictable to be a great film. Based on the popular comics by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, the sequel to the 2014 hit follows Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, who is now following in his deceased father’s footsteps as a member of the Kingsman secret service agency.
Right from the get-go, the sequel makes callbacks to the previous installment and does so throughout the movie. Audience members who haven’t seen the original are in for some confusion as to the relationships of the characters involved. While walking to his car, Eggsy is approached by his nemesis Charlie, who surprisingly survived the events of the first film and now sports a metal arm.
Still angry about his failure to become a Kingsman, Charlie works for a villainous organization and attempts to steal intel regarding the secret organization.
After the destruction of the Kingsman headquarters and agents, Eggsy teams up with Merlin, who is played wonderfully by Mark Strong, to get revenge and rebuild the organization.
They are led to Kentucky, which serves as the headquarters for the American spy agency known as the Statesmen. There, they meet agent Tequila, played by Channing Tatum. In the few scenes that he’s in, Tatum fits the universe and develops an interesting dynamic with his British counterparts.
A lot of the major players from the first film are brought back including Colin Firth’s badass mentor figure Harry Hart, Eggsy’s dog JB (who was named after “24’s”Jack Bauer of all agents) and Princess Tilde from the conclusion of the original.
Vaughn made a very bold decision to bring back Firth’s character from the dead. This decision will leave fans with mixed reactions as the relationship between Hart and Eggsy is the best aspect of the film, but it takes away so much emotional weight from his death in the first. The death of Hart in the original film was completely unexpected, and the fact that the writers brought him back weakens that aspect of the original.
The chemistry between Egerton and Firth are fantastic as Hart acts as a father figure for Eggsy. Firth’s inclusion may also be the reason that some of the younger characters were pushed into the background. It would’ve been more interesting and emotional to make Eggsy not only grow up without a father, but to watch him navigate his new world without him trainer and mentor.
While this movie spends time reviving characters that were thought to be dead, it also gives some of the better characters a dim spotlight. Sophie Cookson, who plays Roxy, is barely in the movie. As one of the standout characters of the first film, the producers make a questionable choice with her character and have so many missed opportunities of having a girl joining the action.
Halle Berry, who plays the tech-genius Ginger, is also given the short end of the stick as she spends the entirety of the film delivering exposition lines. It would’ve been great to see the character show off her physical abilities given her want to become a field-agent within the Statesman organization.
Overall, the film is entertaining but contains too many logical plot holes and is way too predictable to be considered close to the first in terms of quality. Regardless, the movie was a fun time and the 141 minutes doesn’t require any effort to stay engaged.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material.