By David Guerrero
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
One of the greatest homages to the spy genre with a modern twist is “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” one of the best action movies of the year.
A sequel to 2015’s surprise hit, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” this movie has plenty of callbacks and new ideas to keep the franchise rolling.
Both movies are based on the Kingsman comic book, created by Mark Miller, a lesser-known source material. The series follows Eggsy (played by Taron Egerton) as he adapts to the life of a Kingsman, a super-spy who sees nonstop action in efforts to save the world.
The director, Matthew Vaughn (“X-Men: First Class” and “Kick-Ass”), brings the old cast back together. In the sequel, Eggsy has finished his training and is enjoying the life of a secret agent.
But soon, almost all of the other agents are taken out by the unpredictable villain, Poppy, a psychopathic drug lord hiding out in the jungle where she created a replica of a small town straight from the 1950s. She even holds her very own Elton John as a prisoner (played by Elton John). Poppy’s played delightfully by Julianne Moore. She is an excellent successor to the first movie’s villain, Valentine, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
After the Kingsman base is destroyed, Eggsy jumps across the pond to the American equivalent of the Kingsman, the Statesman. He meets new and familiar faces — not all of them friendly — but all of them bringing their “A” game when it comes to acting.
The movie starts right with the action and that may be jarring to some. The film assumes the audience has seen the first movie.
There are many missed opportunities, including the use of some of the Statesman characters.
The studio must have spent a lot money getting big-name actors such as Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum, but the studio hardly used them. They play their roles well enough, but leave the audience wishing there was more to them.
This as well as other missed opportunities are some of the only faults I can find in the movie.
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” uses over-the-top action and hyper-violence. Both movies earn their R-rating in spades, as well as for drug use and partial nudity — something to keep in mind when debating whether to bring the kids.
Another small complaint would be that some scenes and characters go nowhere and seem pointless, and the time could be spent developing the main characters more or exploring the world and gadgets.
The use of music is a major highlight of the film. The first film had an excellent action scene using “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The sequel doesn’t try to top its predecessor, but has its own scene that’s similar and just as well-executed.
The first action sequence is set to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” This may be the first movie to feature a Prince song since his passing. The film also uses “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” by Matthew Margeson, for a tear-jerking effect.
The movie is comparable to the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, in that the music complements the scenes well.
With all of this — the good and the bad — I feel the Kingsman series is just getting started and hopefully won’t end soon. The third film is already in the works, and if Hollywood is smart it will at least try to get a spinoff or prequel off the ground.
In a world with nonstop superhero movies, it’s nice to see an underdog series share the limelight.
I give this adrenaline-filled action movie 3.5 out of 4.
Put on your best-tailored suit and check it out with a fellow King/Statesman.
E-mail Guerrero at firstname.lastname@example.org