Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Matthew Vaughn’s sequel to his Kingsman: The Secret Service, and is in same, loud, colourful comic-book mode (it is based on a comic by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons after all), with excessive but jokey violence, and guys running around in natty suits. Kingsman is the name of the Savile Row menswear shop that serves as a front for the secret headquarters of an organisation of spies. The men all look like prissy aristocrats, but have gizmos that would be the envy of James Bond and Jason Bourne.
Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton), who was rescued from his bleak existence and inducted into Kingsman in the last film by Harry ‘Galahad’ Hart (Colin Firth) leads the action. Harry, shot in the eye in the last film, returns with an eye patch to bungle along with his mentoring role. The villain of the piece is Poppy (Julianne Moore), who looks and talks like a sweet all-American mom, but runs a massive drugs operation out of a Cambodian hideout, made to look like the set of an American town. Her weapons are a meat grinder (at least one ‘Eww’ moment), two vicious robot dogs and one-armed Charlie (Edward Holcroft, who also comes back from the last film, where he should have died). For entertainment, she has kidnapped Elton John (playing himself and enjoying it).
When Poppy destroys the Kingman HQ and kills a couple of their mates, Eggsy and the tech guy Merlin (Mark Strong) have to go after her Golden Circle gang. They connect with their American counterparts, Statesman, that has a booze manufacturing plant as its front, and is led by Champagne (Jeff Bridges), with Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) on his team. They also discover an amnesic Harry out there, and have to help him get his memory back.
The film starts with an action sequence in a London cab and never stops for breath. The 141 running time is a bit of overkill, but the film remains enjoyable throughout, even in the very prepostrous bits. Eggsy also gets some time to romance a Swedish princess (Hanna Halstrom) and in a funny scene is grilled by her father to decide if he is a suitable match.
Revealing what Poppy does to threaten the world would be a spoiler, but the American president’s way of dealing with the crisis is decidedly Trump-ian. There is a part three on the way for sure, and it will be eagerly awaited by fans.
Rating: Three and a half stars