Thoughts: Fit For A Kingsman Sequel
When Kingsman: The Secret Service came out in 2015, it felt like a breath of fresh air compared to a stale Bond franchise. Be prepared to take that same fresh breath with its sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Spoilers ahead.
What made the first Kingsman great was its world-building of the film's fictional spy organization. We had heroes to cheer for, a villain with over-the-top evil plans, and memorable action sequences that truly made the movie remarkable. The sequel has everything that you loved from the first movie but bigger and better. Returning to the fray are Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, and Colin FIrth, the surviving member of Kingsman, after an attack devastates their home base. That leads them on a journey to find their American cousins, The Statesman, who include Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges, each with alcohol-themed codenames. Kingsman has definitely brought the star power in the sequel, which only help to amplify the film.
Now, to the fun part: The action sequences are big, over-the-top, and overall fun and enjoyable to watch. The opening fight sequence is a heart-pounding, exhilarating car race and chase through the city of London. Then there's the all-but-required snow sequence that comes with any sequel that pulls off a death-defying end. However, nothing quite compares to the final fight, which rivals that of the church fight from the original. Once again, it is shot to feel like one long take, but there are obvious cuts and enhanced details that makes the fight fluid and easy to follow.
This just leaves the villain, Poppy, played by Julianne Moore. Unlike Samuel L Jackson who had the over-the-top, crazy plan to have everybody kill themselves in order to drop the planets over population, Moore's plan is a bit different. While it is still considered mass extinction, it does so in a rather unorthodox way that doesn't quite make sense and the film actually points that out. Here's where things get muddy: Poppy is a drug lord and has laced her drugs with a fatal chemical that would kill people unless her demands are met and she releases the antidote. Her drugs cover everything from heroin to cocaine and even marijuana; and that's where is gets muddy because killing people who use heroin and cocaine would solve the "war on drugs" and the movie even points that out. It's the inclusion of marijuana that affects the majority of the world population. Maybe it's the subtle nod to decriminalize marijuana as a major drug, or maybe it's the opposite and that everyone who uses it should be lumped together as drug users. This is the fine line that the villain walks between outright dangerous and fixing a problem in the world. Depends on how you look at things.
Overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a must see for fans of the first film. It's got everything that you loved from the first, but bigger and better. Go in expecting to have a fun time at the movies and you won't be disappointed.