Kingsman: The Secret Service was larger than life with the way it shamelessly set spy tropes on fire. Kingsman: The Golden Circle was more of the same, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
More Than The Secret Service 2.0
Anyone who watched the first movie would immediately notice the various callbacks. A car chase for the opening scene? Check. Bar fight? Check. An extremely violent, remorseless Harry Hart? Check. Without giving too much away, they managed to make a Church Scene 2.0 feel fresh. The action was bigger, better, and just as unapologetic as its predecessor.
It’s more than a regurgitation of the first movie, though. The characters were given room to learn and grow in this sequel—for every flash and bang and fancy explosion, there’s an equal amount of heart at another point in the film. It’s extremely hard not to become emotionally invested in them as they struggle with both taking down a megalomaniac while dealing with loss.
As for the new players in town: Statesman did not feel like the token American counterpart. Much like Kingsman, Statesman had likable, developed characters who subvert expectations of what a top-secret spy should be. While the movie did feel crowded at times with so many new faces, everyone was still given a chance to shine, whether it was through picking up where things left off in the first movie or glimpsing their backstory.
One thing that did leave me unsatisfied, though, was criminal mastermind Poppy. Yes, she was brilliant and creepy. But she could have worked better as a villain if the creepiness stemmed from her superficial charm rather than having the creepiness and charming persona feeling very separate.
An Unexpected Callback To Home
But for all my tiny gripes about it, Kingsman: The Golden Circle left an indelible mark on me. I didn’t expect it to hit so close to home, and yet it did. Philippine moviegoers would find certain aspects eerily similar to the current political landscape, featuring a complete cast at that—from the single-minded thought process of the current president, those who support the current government’s stance and methods, and those who try to resist it. It was admittedly jarring to hear oft-spoken words of a real-life politician echoed back in American English. It’s disconcerting, yes, but it’s also extremely relevant and will hopefully give you food for thought as you leave the cinema.
Will I recommend the movie? Hell yes. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a solid movie that offered many of the same things that made the first movie work. Its unsettling parallelisms to the current state of society make it all the more worthy of discussion well after the movie is over.