After a hugely successful “Kingsman: The Secret Service” that thrilled audiences no end, there was much anticipation that “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” would take up from where its predecessor left off and sweep audiences off their feet with yet another jaw-dropping, heart-stopping roller-coaster ride.
Well, the movie certainly does deliver on that count, with dramatic action bursting onto the screen from the get go as one death-defying stunt merges into another in quick succession the moment the lights dim in the cinema.
One such super-human fight sequence that takes place between protagonist Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) and rejected agent, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), now equipped with a spanking new robotic arm, sets the tone for the entire movie in which the audience is bombarded with logic-defying antics, grand diabolical schemes, and barbaric but ingenious ways of snuffing out the life of two-timing scoundrels.
Well, after all the movie is satirical in its content, and choosing to interpret it any other way would leave one sorely disappointed.
The cast alone is nothing short of spectacular, with Colin Firth, reprising his role of Eggsy’s former mentor, the rather dapper and well-suited Harry Hart.
There’s Mark Strong, who plays Eggsy’s handler Merlin, Channing Tatum, who plays Tequila the American agent who joins forces with Eggsy, and Halle Berry, the dependable technical advisor and aspiring agent, Ginger Ale.
The ever-sweet Julianne Moore is the unlikely villain of the piece in this movie, named appropriately enough Poppy Adams, a drug baroness with an evil streak, who rules the kingdom of the Golden Circle.
There’s even a role for the haughty Sir Elton John who, plays well… the haughty Elton John himself in the movie.
In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, the audience is reunited with Harry of the original movie, only this time, he is a glimmer of the man he once was, wasting away in a facility, with his left eye blasted out of his head, and his mind lost in a void of amnesia.
But Eggsy and his band of heroes have an international crisis on their hands, for which Harry’s services are much needed.
Poppy, the drug lord, headquartered in the thick jungles of Cambodia, wants for governments to legalise the sale of drugs, failing which, all humankind will meet a tragic and agonising end thanks to a tainted supply of drugs she has let slip into the world market, and which only she has the antidote for.
Poppy’s threat to obliterate humankind leads Eggsy and his agents to an allied spy organisation in the US called the Statesman, led by a whiskey-swigging cowboy named Champagne (Jeff Bridges). Joining forces, agents from both these secret services battle the odds to save the world from eternal damnation and wipe out the ruthless Poppy and her Golden Circle of drug thugs.
If you’re into the kind of action where two good guys can take down twelve bad guys in a long drawn-out shootout, then this is the movie for you. If you’re into wisecracks at the most inappropriate of times, or mega explosions and robotic dogs with the jaws of death, you’re in for a spectacular time.
It’s pure escapism for those with a thirst for adventure and over-the-top drama but very little else, save for some points to ponder when Poppy puts forth the argument that tobacco and alcohol are far more addictive than some of the drugs she peddles, and which are considered illegal.
Directed and written by Matthew Vaughn, with Jane Goldman as co-writer, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is distributed by 20th Century Fox and was released in cinemas on Sept 21. It is rated 18.