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Movie Night – ‘Kingsman’ sequel tries too hard to outdo original

By Bradley Griffith

The general rule for sequels seems to be that they must outdo the original movie in every shape, form, and fashion. The filmmakers have lofty ambitions for the sequels, which usually leads to their downfall. They push the limits too far and try too hard to exceed their predecessor. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is no exception to this rule.

Kingsman is a private, independent intelligence service located in London. They combat evil without the bureaucratic entanglements of government oversight. Approximately one year has passed since the conclusion of the events in the first movie. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now a full-blown Kingsman agent living in London with Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alstrom), who he saved at the end of the original movie. Everything is going great for Eggsy until the night he meets Tilde’s parents, though that turns out to save his life.

The Kingsman headquarters, its training facility, and all but one of its field agents are killed virtually simultaneously by missiles fired by a new criminal organization known as The Golden Circle. The leader of the Golden Circle is an insane woman known as Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore). Poppy has a monopoly on the global drug trade that she runs from a remote island where she created a 1950s themed neighborhood known as Poppy Land.

Poppy doesn’t know that she didn’t kill all the Kingsman agents. Eggsy was spared destruction at the hands of a missile because he was in Sweden meeting Tilde’s parents. Poppy also didn’t feel that Merlin (Mark Strong) was missile worthy. Merlin is an analyst, Poppy made the mistake of believing that he is not a threat to her.

Completely devoid of resources, Eggsy and Merlin initiate the doomsday protocol. They learn of their American cousins, the Statesmen. Assisted by Statesmen Champ (Jeff Bridges), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Tequila (Pedro Pascal), and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), Eggsy and Merlin must destroy the Golden Circle.

It’s a cliché for a reason: the first movie was better. A lot better. Both movies are a type of spoof of your average spy flick, especially James Bond movies. Part of the shtick of the movies is that they are over the top in their depiction of the spy game. They are meant to be funny, and “The Golden Circle” does manage to provide a few laughs along the way.

The main problem with “The Golden Circle” is that it tries so hard to outdo the original movie that every single facet of every single scene is insanely ridiculous. There are so many outrageous parts to the movie that no part of the movie feels novel because it doesn’t stand out from the relentless onslaught of pure absurdity.

Probably the best part about the movie is the fight scenes. While over 90 percent of the action is nothing short of impossible, the choreography and timing of the fighting and gunplay is amazing. The filmmakers obviously spent a lot of time and money making sure these scenes were perfect, and it shows. 

If you saw the first movie, “The Golden Circle” is more of the same. Much more, and for the worse. It’s almost comically violent and dirty. Almost. There’s nothing new to the movie to distinguish it from the original film other than the fact that it takes the level of impossibility of the action and ramps it up a notch.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” far exceeds the bounds of reason and believability. It simply goes too far with basically every aspect of the movie.

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Grade: C

Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout, and some sexual material.