By Dave B.
In Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017, currently on HBO), the secretive and independent intelligence agency is attacked by an alliance of old and new enemies. The remnants of the organization find their way to the United States and hookup with their counterparts, The Statesmen, to foil a plot involving a deadly genetically engineered virus that’s been introduced into the illegal drug supply, for the purpose of getting the POTUS to legalize all recreational drugs.
I was a big fan of the first Kingsman movie. It was fresh, original, suffused with vitality, and filled with epic hyperviolence. Unfortunately, The Golden Circle only keeps the hyperviolence part and ignores everything else that made the first movie so much fun. The Golden Circle is unoriginal, boring, directionless, and nearly two and a half hours long. It fails in nearly every conceivable way that a sequel can.
The root of the problem with The Golden Circle lies in the apparent inability of the writers to come up with a conflict and a villain that could top what Samuel L. Jackson brought to the table as Valentine, in the original. Instead of allowing this movie to forge its own direction and identity, it’s made as a cheap clone. And there’s nearly an hour in the middle of the movie where there is almost no action. Is there anyone in the world that wants to watch a Kingsman movie that is short on action? Maybe, if the plot makes some sense, which this one’s doesn’t. Plus, there are few surprises in this film, except for how monotonous it is. Every plot twist, betrayal, and victory is predictable. I’ll admit there are some surprising casualties, but even those lack the emotional impact that they would otherwise have in a better made film because audiences are likely to be too bored to care what happens to any character in this movie.
All in all, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is dull and that’s inexcusable for a film in this franchise. It should be clear that style and violence can make a movie entertaining, but they can’t make one good on their own. When those are the only elements a film has to offer, and they’re offered relatively sparsely, we end up with a disaster like The Golden Circle. It’s watchable, but just barely. Not only do I not recommend this movie, but at this point I’m inclined to skip the third installment in this series altogether, especially if it's going be over two hours long.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.