"Manners Maketh Man"
A Review of "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Matthew Vaugh, Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME
With one well-planned attack, the headquarters of the Kingsman is no more. As the remaining Kingsman agents begin to try and piece life back together, the world finds itself held hostage by a ruthless drug lord named Poppy played brilliantly by Julianne Moore. In order to defeat her, the remaining Kingsman agents must cross the pond and get some Yankee help from the Statesman. Together, these elite organizations must pull resources and talent in an effort to save millions of people.
As someone who critiques movies, my job is pretty simple. I watch films as they present themselves to be. Some are comedic, others dramatic, suspenseful, horror-inducing, and/or action-packed. Once I figure out the aim of each film I see, I judge it on some simple grounds: Is it entertaining? Does the plot keep my attention and is it void of recognizable flaws? Do I connect with at least one of the characters? Does it make me question the outside world? Does it accomplish its aim? When the credits roll, how these questions are answered determine whether I would recommend other's spending their time and money to see it.
For "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," the goals are simple. It wants to entertain you with jaw-dropping action scenes and pepper in some comedy when possible. It achieves these goals better than almost any movie trying attempting to do the same thing that I saw this summer. In fact, it wastes almost no time doing so with one hell of an opening sequence. The first 10 minutes are break-neck, fast-paced, awe-inducing, and beautiful to watch. It didn't take long for this film to fill me with a warm, fuzzy love for why I go to the movies. On top of the opening scene, is the amazing style of everyone in the movie. These were reason enough to stick around.
Colin Firth's character, Harry Hart, set the tone for the first film. The way he carried himself, spoke and acted dripped with British power. When he is shot and killed in the first film, it hurt. Knowing he has a moment of rebirth in this film and each member of the team is trying to desperately bring back their leader adds another layer of complexity. You will wait for a good chunk of the film to hear the words, "Manners Maketh Man" to be uttered but when they come they are glorious!
Julianne Moore's character, Poppy, steals the show, as far as I am concerned. She is a drug lord, hidden away in the jungle, addicted to 50's retro and selling drugs all over the world. The way in which she holds the world hostage is ingenious and a new approach for a villain. As her drugs begin to render people useless, she begins a push "legalize and save lives," as a way of making all the pain go away. I found it to be a refreshing approach that she wasn't after just bringing doom on the world. Instead, she just wanted to continue expanding her empire like any good capitalist.
A film like this lives and dies based on its action scenes and the scenes in this movie are nothing short of amazing. The film has three major scenes and when coupled with the story itself, they create a near flawless action-comedy. Really! I don't have a lot of bad things to say about this movie. Sure, you have to swallow your sense of disbelief. Things almost always bounce in the direction of the good guys and there will for sure be another sequel. But, at the end of the day, sometimes you just want to be entertained, amazed, and laugh a bit. For me, this movie acheived all that and more.
Be good to each other,