By Madyson McGill
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
When I went to see the first Kingsman movie I was a bit skeptical. I’m not a fan of overdramatic, unrealistic deaths such as exploding firework heads. Funnily enough, however, I actually fell in love with the movie, and was beyond excited to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle. While no sequel is ever as good as the original, the second Kingsman movie can hold its own.
Anyway, let’s talk plot. Personally, I think the plot falls flat in some places, and loses touch in between American stereotypes and Elton John. I think they had a good idea. Bring back Eggsy’s training nemesis Charlie with a Bucky style robot arm, unleash a deadly virus, bring back a beloved character, and ultimately “take down” the Kingsman. That poor tailor shop has seen better days. The execution is what lacked for me.
It all begins with an elaborate plan by Julianne Moore’s character Poppy, whose cannibalistic tendencies and love for the meat grinder sends off alarms that she may have a few screws loose. She send now Golden Circle member Charlie to upload all of the Kingsman information. The Golden Circle gets the coordinates for all Kingsman members and then Poppy basically blows them all to a pulp, including Roxy and J.B., may they rest in peace (I won’t forgive them for killing the dog). Eggsy and Merlin are the only two to survive.
So after a dramatic rain scene they go drink their sorrows away because they think it’s all over. This is where the lightbulb moment happens and the Statesman make their first appearance. Eggsy and Merlin travel all the way down to the deep south of America… Kentucky… which I would like to point out is just below Indiana in the midwest, but we won’t get into that rant.
Cue the stereotypes that Americans love to drink and shoot guns, not that I’m complaining; I found it quite comical and well-executed by the cast. We aren’t as classy as the British, it’s fine. Long story short, Eggsy and Merlin are captured by none other than Channing Tatum, who is really only in the movie for probably twenty minutes before the deadly virus Poppy affects him and he’s put on ice. But hey! We get the return of Galahad. That’s right folks, he’s not dead. Who knew you could survive a bullet to the brain? Stateman’s nifty tech is to thank for that. The downside though is that Galahad has forgotten all of his mad spy skills.
Which means it’s up to Eggsy and the Statesman to figure out Poppy’s plan and stop the virus. Which is all a part of Poppy’s plan to legalize drugs so she can return home and make millions.
Eggsy and Agent Whiskey, played by Pedro Pascal a.k.a Oberyn from Game of Thrones, set out to find the cure before people all around the world die. To find the virus and create a cure however, one of them must woo Charlie’s girlfriend and insert a tracking device in a sacred place a.k.a up her vagina. She can’t just swallow it or something.
While this is happening Poppy tries to strike a deal with our president. Sidenote: our president sucks in this movie too. The president tries to outsmart her, saying he’ll legalize the drugs, but in reality he won’t and will thus let millions die by once again an exploding head, because the world would be a better place without all these lowlifes anyway, according to him.
Insert plot twist. Galahad gets his memory back via puppy; he’s still not top notch but he’s working at it. He realizes this while trying to recreate a western version of the bar scene from the first movie, but Whiskey has to step in with his deadly slow-motion lasso. They all set out to get the cure so Statesmen resident woman badass Agent Ginger Ale, Halle Berry, can replicate it.
They almost too easily retrieve it, and it survives a roll down a mountain only to be knocked from Eggsy’s hand when the Golden Circle attacks them in a tiny cabin. Galahad and Eggsy get into a heated debate about Whiskey while he kills almost everyone outside. Then Galahad, who randomly sees butterflies for some odd reason, shoots him in the head for being a traitor. Eggsy is not the least bit pleased, and saves Whiskey.
Then, the girlfriend/princess gets sick and Eggsy must save her and the rest of humanity. So, him, Galahad, and Merlin set out to Poppy’s secret 1950’s aztec ruin lair. Fast Forward to the heart wrenching scene where Merlin sacrifices himself in a crescendo of glory, and Eggsy and Galahad dynamic duo their way to a victory when the odds aren’t in their favor. Elton John helps too in a random cameo I still don’t understand.
Poppy kicks the bucket and Whiskey proves his villainous ways by popping up last minute to foil plans. After another intense action scene, which is actually brilliantly put together, Whiskey ends up in a meat grinder. Apparently Pascal’s character must be crushed to an unrecognizable pulp. The antidote is distributed, Agent Ginger Ale is promoted, Eggsy becomes a prince, and the Kingsman are back in action.
Overall, I stayed engaged through the whole movie. The writing is punny and comical for an action comedy, and the action sequences are filmed and edited together pretty intricately. Also, although Julianne Moore is an A+ villain in her own right, she will never replace Samuel L. Jackson. I would give this movie a solid 3.5/5 as far a sequels go.