Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, a film I didn’t get round to watching for ages because of the censored violence in the church fight scene for the UK version, so I kept intending to get round to watching the US uncut version…
…until I eventually discovered that the UK version is the one which was used worldwide. Hey ho… I saw the film, and didn’t think a great deal of it. It was too long and full of its own self-importance… not least with the fact that the church fight was STILL very bloody and gory – so it can’t have been any more violent, since it was clearly nonsensical and so the BBFC should not have had a problem with it as it could hardly be copied by children.
I didn’t see this new one at the cinema, but the general consesus of those who did was that it was not as good as the first one… so that doesn’t bode well for me… but, let’s give it a go.
Julianne Moore takes the lead baddie role of drug dealer Poppy, running her base of operations from a ’50s-inspired location, self-titled Poppyland, running the secret organisation, The Golden Circle, who recruited Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), the failed Kingsman applicant. As the trailer shows, everything at Kingsman is blown apart, leaving just Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) left, yet Taron Egerton‘s plastic acting means he can’t convey any emotion whatsoever.
There’s Elton John, another Delevingne – Poppy Delevingne, this time, there’s more Elton John, and then even more Elton John. If you go with it, Elton John’s scenes *do* work, initially, in their context… for a couple of times, but then they overegg-sy (ahem) the pudding. In addition, there are way too many characters, so most of them are hamming it up in an attempt to (badly) steal the limelight. Plus, as this is yet another Hollywood movie that feels more like a series of set pieces rather than something more coherent, and with a lame script partially responsible from the ever-terrible Jane Goldman, it really does feel like the entire movie is made up as it goes along, without any regard to continuity.
Oh, and one of those set pieces always has to include Colin Firth being challnged to a punch-up in a pub. Yes, after the first film, it would seem unlikely he’d be back in the second, but again, not only did the trailer confirm that he’s back (although I won’t say how that was done), but the endless meerkat-related insurance adverts showed him drinking with those creatures.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle did give me a good laugh out of the opening cab chase, after going up against Charlie, but beyond that, this overlong exercise in green-screen and CGI soon outstays its welcome.
As an aside, there’s also a reference to a late scene in Trading Places when Merlin suits up and is told by Eggsy, “Looking good, Merlin”, to which comes the reply, “Feeling good, Eggsy”.
So, will there be a Kingsman 3? Hollywood does like its trilogies, and given that the budgets for the first two films were $81m and $104m, respectively, with a lifetime gross of $414m for No.1 and, so far, pre-home release, $407m for No.2, it’ll happen, sure as eggsys are eggsys.
As Mark Kermode once said in a teaser for his BBC News Film Review programme with Gavin Esler, at the time, “If you pay to see it, they’ll just keep making more of it”(!)
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and you’d be surprised if it was not a top-notch transfer for a brand new film. There are no issues with it whatsoever, bringing the many many visual effects to life, crisp and clear. For the record, I watched this on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV.
The sound is in DTS HD 7.1 (English version only) and plenty of cash has been splashed on split-surround effects as much as the visuals, so if you enjoyed the film, there’s a lot to take in, here.
The in-depth extras are as follows:
- Kingsman: Inside The Golden Circle (117:13): A ‘making of’ that’s almost as long as the film itself, meaning those who did enjoy the film will be very well served, as it mixes on-set footage with plenty of chat from all the key cast and crew. It’s split into the following sections: Distilling The Story: Kingsman Returns, Trafficker Tailor Southerner Spy (looking at the characters), Poppy’s Special Guest (yes, Elton John), Nefarious Lairs and High-Falutin’ Headquarters (Poppy’s set and the US locations), Suited and Booted (costumes), Weapons Of Choice (yes, all the James Bond-style stuff), Brothers In Arms (Harry and Eggsy working together, along with the camaraderie of others, not only for the characters but also the cast and crew), Doomsday Protocol: Visual Effects, End Game (putting the film together from a rough cut that runs for three hours and forty five minutes).
It’s a total of 9 sections with 13 chapters, so some are split up due to having more info to digest than others.
Black Cab Chaos: Anatomy of a Killer Chase (12:49): A more detailed look at Eggsy’s intro scene, with a very clever construction of a taxi that, for the studio shots, comes apart in more ways than you can imagine.
Kingsman Archives: A stack of images (numbers of each in brackets) from the movies: Concept Art – Sets (18) and Costumes (18), Stills – Behind the scenes (9), Sets (16), Props (4), The Cast (23)
Audio description: In Dolby Digital 5.1 and does exactly what it says on the tin.
The menu mixes clips from the film with a short piece of the score, there are subtitles in English only, and one thing most studios skimp on – a decent number of chapters! I prefer one every five minutes and this Blu-ray has 28 chapters, which is bang-on for its 141-minute running time.
Running time: 141 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Released: January 29th 2018
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Format: 2.39:1 (Arri Alexa XT, Hawk V-Lite and V-Plus Anamorphic Lenses); 1.90:1 (IMAX version; some scenes)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Producers: Adam Bohling, David Reid and Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons)
Music: Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson
Eggsy: Taron Egerton
Merlin: Mark Strong
Harry Hart: Colin Firth
Poppy: Julianne Moore
Charlie: Edward Holcroft
Whiskey: Pedro Pascal
Ginger Ale: Halle Berry
Tequila: Channing Tatum
Himself: Elton John
Princess Tilde: Hanna Alström
The King of Sweden: Björn Granath
The Queen of Sweden: Lena Endre
Charles: Keith Allen
Angel: Tom Benedict Knight
Arthur: Michael Gambon
Roxy: Sophie Cookson
Champ: Jeff Bridges
Clara: Poppy Delevingne
President of the United States: Bruce Greenwood
Brandon: Calvin Demba
Liam: Thomas Turgoose
Jamal: Tobi Bakare
Chief of Staff Fox: Emily Watson
General McCoy: Mark Arnold
Michelle: Samantha Womack
Kingsman Cab Driver: Gordon Alexander
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.