Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Elton John, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alstrom, Calvin Demba, Thomas Turgoose, Tobi Bakare, Keith Allen, Tom Benedict Knight, Michael Gambon, Sophie Cookson, Lene Endre, Pedro Pascal, Poppy Delevingne, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson, Samantha Womack.
A long line of sequels is always possible when a film comes along with the possibility of an open ended cast and is good enough to carry the weight of excitement, action and sometimes outlandish plot; if it is respectable enough for the makers of James Bond, then it more than good enough for those responsible for The Kingsman.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle sits perfectly alongside its elder sibling and then does its upmost to squeeze in a little extra, to go further in terms of dramatic sequences, of its liberal use of sexual inhibition and unreserved dialogue and then adds in the unexpected for good measure; as sequels go in the spy genre, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is one of the finer examples of what can be done with a great idea and the spark of ingenuity.
The Kingsman: The Secret Service worked because it was a fresh take on an old idea, the result of a graphic novel inspiring live action in the best possible way; it worked because it was sincere in its irreverence and unlike the arguably abysmal spy parody series of Austen Powers, it was also good fun, the meaning behind it clear, that no matter the background we can all achieve something worthwhile with our lives.
Once again Taron Egerton comes up trumps as the former council estate lad who is given a chance in a different world, the humour and the sophistication shines through and whilst the writers might resort to stereotype occasionally, they capture the essence of the man inside the shell suit with great satisfaction.
With great support from an exceptional Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Pedro Pascal and a surprisingly cool Elton John, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is an enjoyable romp, unrelentingly action packed and one that gets to grips with the very serious message of drug abuse in the modern era. The reinforcing message that the one once tangled weave of heroin, cocaine and other narcotics was solely at the feet of society’s unwanted, is now a problem because we have pushed with alarming acceptance that we are a product, a consuming machine who has no life outside of that owned by Government and high finance.
A franchise which can continue, regardless of the players involved, extravagant, unreserved and full of character, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a well deserved sequel.
Ian D. Hall