Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

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Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Elton John, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal

Synopsis: A year since Eggsy saved the world he’s now a full fledged Kingsman and dating Princess Tilde. When dining with the King and Queen of Sweden missiles take out the Kingsman bases around the country wiping out the majority of agents leaving just Eggsy and Merlin to save the world. Together they discover their American cousins the Statesmen who they work along side to take down Poppy the worlds richest drug lord who has released a toxin into all her drugs to hold the world to ransom over making drugs legal and increasing her business prospects. Can the team save the world before the toxin wipes out millions of people including the Swedish Princess?

(Spoilers from here on out you’ve been warned) 

Rating: 7/10

So I was unfortunately spoiled for this film before it came out by a douchebag on twitter so I knew a good part of the plot beforehand and honestly what I read made me furious and really not interested in seeing this film anymore.

Well it’s safe to say after seeing it for myself I’ve completely changed my mind as I adored every second of it.

Before the film we got a lovely voice over from Merlin telling everyone to shut the fuck up and not make noise during the film or he’d “recreate the church scene” on us. Best way to intro a film I’d say!

The film starts with an epic fight scene between Eggsy and Charlie fighting in the back (and on top…and behind) of a black cab whilst being chased by three other cars. Charlie has been “upgraded” since we lost saw him and now is the owner of a robotic arm and voice box following the events of the first film. The fight is fast paced and violent and puts most serious action movies to shame whilst keeping the comic side running throughout.

Later we see Eggsy and Tilde who now live together in Harry’s old house discussing dinner plans in which we get a flashback of Harry teaching Eggsy basic dinner etiquette where we see Eggsy is still deeply effected by what he witnessed happen to Harry the previous year. Whilst at dinner with Tildes parents who are taking the opportunity to grill Eggsy to make sure he’s worthy of their little girl we see that Roxy is feeding Eggsy information so he doesn’t make a tit of himself in front of Tilde’s parents. Whilst eating dessert Eggsys friend finds his hidden arsenal and his special glasses and puts them on and see’s Eggsy eating dinner with Tilde before missiles blow him and Eggsy’s dog JB up as well as Roxy and all the other Kingsmen bar Merlin.

Now I was really fucking pissed off that they killed off Roxy when she didn’t get to do ANYTHING this film other than sit on a bed and talk to Eggsy over the comms. Also COMPLETELY unnecessary to kill off the dog. Literally NEVER KILL OFF THE DOG!! EVER!!

Next we get the start of the really funny parts of the film when Eggsy and Merlin activate the doomsday protocol which leads to both men joking about how ridiculous the upper class are. This leads to Eggsy and Merlin getting hammered together and Merlin having a breakdown crying over everyone he’s lost and then professing his love of country music and starts singing “Take me home, Country roads”.

When we get to america we find the boys being held captive by Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) who thinks they are sent to spy on the Statesmen until Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) bursts in and confirms their story. Not before of course we see the reveal that Harry Hart is alive and (mostly) well having been rescued by the statesmen and saved using their nano technology only to have lost his memory (and marbles). Harry now thinks he is a Lepidopterist (butterfly expert) which we learn from Merlin was his dream job before he joined the army. This film expands a lot on the relationship between Harry and Merlin giving us a lot of emotional scenes between the two such as when they are trying to forcibly jog Harry’s memory by filling his cell with water like we see with Eggsy in the first film but Merlin ends the attempt because he can’t bare to see Harry suffer or panic any longer (vastly different than the clinical reaction he had to the recruits last time).

Eggsy finally manages to get Harry’s memories back when he brings him a puppy that looks just like Mr Pickles who Harry promptly falls in love with. Eggsy pulls a gun on the dog and Harry defensively shields the dog from harms way telling Eggsy he’d have to shoot him first. Here we get some lovely flashbacks of young!Harry facing his trial of shooting the dog to become a kingsman and the guilt he carries over pulling the trigger on his beloved dog.

Now with his memory back though still seeing butterflies he joins Eggsy and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) on a mission to get the antidote to Poppy’s virus where he shoots Whiskey in the head to Eggsys horror insisting that Whiskey was a double agent. Of course Eggsy thinks Harry has just gone mad and wasn’t ready to go in the field just yet but his love for his mentor stops him from turning Harry in to the statesmen.

With half the world on the brink of death thanks to Poppy’s drugs we meet the US president (a rather funny parody of Donald Trump) who plans to let all the citizens die including his chief of staff purely for the fact they took any form of drug to begin with (medicinal or otherwise).

When Harry, Eggsy and Merlin go to Cambodia to Poppy’s 50’s style hide out we get the films saddest and most epic moment. Eggsy accidentally steps on a land mine which if he removes his foot from will kill him and his friends. Merlin produces a freezing spray which will hold the trigger down long enough for Eggsy to escape but it turns out it was a trick and Merlin was just taking Eggsys place on the trigger. Here Merlin get’s to be his epic best after a heartbreaking goodbye to his dear friend Harry and to Eggsy he starts singing Take Me Home, Country Roads once more attracting the attention of Poppy’s guards to lure them away from the entrance so Eggsy and Harry can get inside. As the guards advance on him and he reaches the songs climax he takes his foot off the trigger blowing himself and the guards to pieces.

Eggsy and Harry then tackle Charlie and Poppy in memory of their friend (with the help of Elton John in a rainbow feather suit) to release the antidote into the world but they are stopped by Whiskey who reveals he wants all drug users to die following the murder of his girlfriend and unborn son at the hands of two meth addicts in the past. This brings about the films epic fight scene that surpasses the ones in the previous film and ends in a much gorier way than the church scene ever did.

Finally after everyone is saved we get to see Eggsy marry Prince Tilde with Harry as best man and the film ends to see Tequila walking into the Kingsman shop wearing a sharp suit and bowler hat.

I will say as much as I loved this film it had some major faults. There were the ones I’ve stated previously with the killing of Roxy and JB as well as Michael Gambons Arthur despite the fact we only met him for less than a minute. There was also the serious lack of Channing Tatum’s character who spent the majority of the film in cold storage which was a complete waste of a character many people were interested in seeing.

There was also the redo of the first films most controversial joke aka the anal sex joke. Despite the pointlessness of it in the first film it is redone again when Tilde see’s Eggsy off to save the world again and once again it’s not necessary to the plot at all and rather tasteless. (and I say that as someone who loves a dirty joke)

My main bugbear was that Matthew Vaughn had previously made a promise to address the fact of Merlin’s sexuality. He has stated more than once that the character was gay and that it would be addressed in this film. Well it’s safe to say it wasn’t though there was some serious chemistry between Harry and Merlin throughout. In fact they went the complete opposite way with that promise and killed him off instead.

Now this could be another case of “we didn’t see the body” like with Harry and I sure hope it is because Merlin became my favourite character this film and I admittedly cried when he died in such a badass fashion.

My final fault with the film is Whiskeys whole motivation was fucking stupid. Yes his girlfriend and unborn son had been killed but who goes “I lost my family so let’s kill hundreds of millions of other people because they took drugs” literally that is his entire motivation, that a drug addict killed her! Literally could’ve gone with any other option and it would’ve made more sense.

Now on to my favourite parts. For starters the whole film was hilarious, possibly funnier than the first. Theirs also the added bonus of the adorable relationship between Eggsy and Tilde who are very cute together (I mean Eggsy was willing to jump into a sewer for her and she was willing to kiss him whilst covered in sewage).

I also loved we got to see more of Harry and Merlin’s personalities with discovering Harry’s love of butterflies, Elton John and his military past and with Merlin we get to see the incredibly sweet and caring man who would do anything for those he loves. We also got to see Harry with a tiny puppy and see his very emotional reaction to memories of his old dog Mr Pickles.

The funniest part of the whole film was by far Elton John. His continuous swearing and tantrums over being held captive and his eventual escape and fighting alongside Harry whilst wearing a rainbow feather suit and then flirting with Harry after killing the robot dog together. He was hysterical and I hope he’s in the next one.

I LOVED that the fake!Trump got impeached at the end by a woman who had a lot of similarities to Hilary Clinton because honestly it’s getting kind of ridiculous the real Trump hasn’t been fed to the dogs yet.

I loved every second of this film no matter how much it broke my heart seeing my favourite character die. I highly recommend people go see it if you want a fun few hours.

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