★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki
2015's Kingsman: The Secret Service was a way-overdue, fresh & fun addition to the spy genre. So it was a foregone conclusion that I would be highly expecting its sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
And what a sequel it was. It's just as gleefully action-filled, violent, & funny as the first film. Once again, the film focuses on Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, AKA Galahad (played by Taron Egerton), who has been an agent of Kingsman for a year. He is engaged to Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (played by Hanna Alström), who he helped save in the first film.
While in Sweden, the Kingsman headquarters in London are struck by missiles, leaving Eggsy & Merlin (played by Mark Strong) as the only surviving members of Kingsman. Because of this, they must follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to the Statesman Distillery Co. in Kentucky, a secret organization posing as a Bourbon distillery. The head of Statesmen, Champagne (played by Jeff Bridges) briefs Eggsy & Merlin about a drug cartel called The Golden Circle, led by Poppy Adams (played by Julianne Moore), who is hiding in the jungles of Cambodia in a 1950's American-style hideout known as Poppy Land, where she has taken Elton John (played by himself) captive.
Poppy announces that she has put a toxin in every single drug in the world, causing death within days. Eggsy & Merlin must find her, stop her, & release the antidote. Three other Statesmen agents, Ginger Ale (played by Halle Berry), Tequila (played by Channing Tatum), & Whiskey (played by Pedro Pascal) also join into help. But an old friend, Harry Hart, AKA Galahad (played by Colin Firth), was discovered by Statesmen after his presumed death, & Eggsy & Merlin must help him get back to normal as well.
The cast is spectacular. Firth, Egerton & Bridges do great work. Moore is deliciously villainous & brings a side of hers to this performance that we've almost never seen in her career. And Elton John does an excellent job of playing a gleefully profane version of himself.
Matthew Vaughn's direction is excellent. His control over the action sequences is excellent, & he brings a huge jolt of energy to the film, just like he did for the first film.
And the screenplay by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn is brilliant. Just like the first film, this has a lot of scathingly funny dark humor that works excellently.
This is one of the better action films in recent memory. It's fun, action-packed, & absolutely awesome, & definitely more awesome than most action films out there currently.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle was seen by me at the MJR Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, MI on Friday, September 22, 2017. It is in theaters everywhere. Its runtime is 141 minutes, & it is rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout & some sexual material.