Already dethroning IT as the king of the September box office globally, Kingsman The Golden Circle is a refreshing addition the action-comedy spy genre.
Several years have passed since the events of the first movie and Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton) has accustomed to his role as a secret agent and formed a blooming romance with Princess Tilde. Still emotional about the apparent death of his mentor Harry (Colin Firth), Eggsy has taken on his mantel as Galahad and with help from the ever resourceful Merlin (Mark Strong), tackles the world issues required by a Kingsman agent.
However, the past comes back with vengeance in the form of Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a failed kingsman agent who is hellbent on making up for his lost limb yet armed with a metal replacement courtesy of Julianne Moore's Poppy. Poppy runs the world's drug cartel in disguise as a pharmaceutical company that laces recreational drugs with a new toxic that gradually drives the victim towards paralysis and sure death. When Roxy discovers that Charlie works for Poppy, she wipes out the Kingsmen leaving only Eggsy and Merlin as the sole remaining agents who must to America and seek help from their cousin agency, the Statesman. Unlike the British who moonlight as a tailor shop, the Statesman dwell in the liquor business with their agents being codenamed Champagne (Jeff Bridges), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Ginger (Halle Berry).
There, the duo discover Harry well and alive albeit a missing eye and riddled with anterograde amnesia. Racing against time to save the world and help his once-suave mentor regain his memories, Eggsy soon realizes his girlfriend has also been subjected to Poppy's toxin. To complicate matters, Eggsy finds that not all agents can be trusted and that there is a potential double agent in their midst.
The film delivers on the action promised in the trailer, starting off with an adrenaline-fueled car chase around London before moving onto spectacular fight scenes glamourized by highly saturated images and slow motion. Moore adds flair and charm to the twisted druglord who literally turns her victims into human-burgers. Much like its predecessor, the stylized film manages to balance character and plot, although there is not much character-development. However, the film boldly goes where the first one did not, (mild spoiler!) they actually manage to evoke an emotional response from the audience during the third act building upto the demise of a fan-favorite character.
Also, I was expecting more of Channing Tatum since he was utilized prominently in the marketing material.
Nevertheless, the film does a magnificent job building on the existing mythology from the first movie while adding new characters and surprising cameos. While the plot is a quite simple "save the world" mission, the film stands at a staggering two and half hours. Still, despite its lengthy runtime with an overblown third act, Kingsman delivers on everything that it promised: a fine blend of superb action, comedy and spy gadgetry - Ian Fleming would be proud.
By Akash Sk