Kingsman: The Golden Circle English Movie

Feature Film | 2017 | Action, Comedy
The Golden Circle retains the body but abandons the mind of its predecessor.
Sep 22, 2017 By Vighnesh Menon

In Hollywood, with sequels comes the burden of soaring expectations. And when the original is a game-changer, the stakes, of course, increase multifold for the follow-up. Kingsman: The Secret Service, the brainchild of the stylish director Matthew Vaughn, was one such game-changer. And its follow-up, the Golden Circle, a predictable step backwards on many a level.

"The bigger, the better" is what Golden Circle, like almost all sequels, firmly stands by. The action is even more bombastic, the espionage world even glitzier, the concurrent allegory louder than before and the cast now a pantheon of British and American icons. Perhaps, if The Expendables got a classy makeover, it would look like this. Still, Vaughn's version of bigger really does not translate to better. Whereas the first part was a surprise package of inside-out action set-pieces, self-awareness as a spy comedy and a determination to feel different overall, the sequel simply blows those precedents as far as it can and plays to conventions.

This time, the world again needs some saving from the Kingsman and their sister organization, the Statesman, thanks to Poppy(Julianne Moore) whose monopolistic drug cartel/terrorist organisation, The Golden Circle, lethally affects its customers and holds the world at ransom with the exclusive antidote.

Vaughn smartly distinguishes the Statesmen from the Kingsman by giving them true-blue American culture and mythos. His social commentary is not as smart, stuffed right down your throat till you choke. Taking jibes at the 'war on drugs' and its proponents, most notably, American president Donald Trump, the movie sure has a point to prove. Both movies have tackled radicalism but this time you suspect if the message was more flatulent than enlightening.

In the villain's department, instead of a sociopath(Samuel Jackson) who mistakes genocide for population control, we get a psychotic woman who takes legalisation of drugs a little too far. Both the antagonists are similar in their misplaced fight for the greater good. Yet, while Jackson's villain had a density of softness in his character, Moore's Poppy radiates campy evilness and vanity with tremendous control, unsurprising of an actor like her.

The Golden Circle's Rated-R coolness and furious pace makes the two hour, twenty minute action-comedy marathon look like a cakewalk. But, what could have been a lot more than generic entertainment wastes its potential with the pressures of fan service and conformity. Here's to hoping that the next part will save the franchise before it saves the world again.

Vighnesh Menon