RATING: 2.5 out of 5
Director Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was a movie that I didn’t expect I’d enjoy as much as I did. During the time that it came out, we’ve already seen all sorts of spies in movies so a lot were tired of the genre. From invisible cars to fighting off bad guys with a rolled up magazine, it felt like there was nothing else we haven’t seen at that point.
There’s James Bond who’s been sleeping with women and then murdering them afterwards (thankfully so far lagi namang in that order at hindi the other way around) since before you were even born. There’s the Jason Bourne franchise kung saan mas mahaba pa ata tong buong movie review na sinusulat ko kesa sa dialogue ni Matt Damon sa loob ng apat na pelikula. And then there’s the absurd Austin Powers movies that never won any Oscar but will forever hold a place in my heart for the many euphemisms they could think of for the male genitalia. (10 years old lang ako nung una ko yang napanuod kaya intindihin niyo na lang kung bakit ako tawang tawa sa mga jokes na ganyan.)
That’s why “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was such a pleasant surprise because even though it made use of age-old spy genre tropes, it felt surprisingly fresh and subversive. Unfortunately, we can’t exactly say the same for “Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle.” The movie doubles down on the craziness but doesn’t feel as fresh as when the first movie came out in 2014.
The sequel follows the story of Eggsy (Taron Egerton), now a full-fledged gentlemen who lives with his Danish princess girlfriend who you might remember from that last scene in the first movie as the “adventurous” type. (#AlamNa) A new criminal syndicate that goes by the name of the”Golden Circle” wipes out all of Kingsman save for Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong). This leads them to ask for help from their American cousins in Kentucky, a spy group called the “Statesman” led by Champagne (Jeff Bridges), Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry).
The action scenes were great and you’d expect nothing less if you’re familiar with the first film. But I also think that the franchise is a victim of its own success. Although there were sequences in the movie that were admittedly awesome like Pedro Pascal’s “gun-fu” scene in the Italian alps, nothing comes close to the insanity of the “church scene” from the first film which I consider to be one of the best action scenes ever. When I first saw that scene I remember saying outloud “GRAAAABE TO!” How exactly do you top that, right?!
And while I also appreciate the movie’s humor, I think they went a bit too far in this one. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first film’s subversive and devil-may-care attitude pero medyo nasobrahan e sa pagka-kengkoy ngayon e. Sure, all those scenes with Elton John got some laughs but I honestly think that the movie would have been better served without them. The worst of it was Channing Tatum’s dance sequence that they threw in the middle of the movie. Parang hinanapan lang nila ng excuse para gumiling ng lasing na Magic Mike si Channing e. We all know the guy can dance but he doesn’t need to do it in all his movies na parang si Enrique Gil di ba?
There’s no doubt that they decided to go bigger for the sequel. For one thing ang dami nilang kinuhang big-name stars! In addition to the actors who are returning from the first film, they added Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore. Now most of them were great despite the limited screen time they were given. But Julianne Moore’s character Poppy as the villain is sadly just not that interesting compared to Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine. Valentine was this tech guy with a lisp who had a homicidal streak but at the same time couldn’t handle the sight of blood. Poppy just seems like a Stepford wife who instead of baking cookies, sold drugs.
Another thing that I think they should have kept in the sequel is Eggsy being anti-establishment and edgy. In the first film, Eggsy felt like a mix of James Bond and Xander Cage. In the sequel, he just seems like a clone of Colin Firth’s character Harry. Sure, character can evolve but that was what made him special! He can be classy, but he can also be street. Like someone you would hang out with. As an action movie, it’s still alright and is not a exactly bad way to spend two hours of your time. But Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle seems to have lost the charm that made us want a sequel to begin with.
Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle is now out in cinemas everywhere.