Two days before going to see the movie, I was pumped. The trailers looked great, the cast is phenomenal, and the prior was fantastic. The morning I went to see it I heard some disquieting information. Supposedly the original cut was about 3.5 hours long … While I am all for a long movies assuming the plot and pacing support it, that just seems ridiculous. So there were talks of splitting it into two movies, which Matthew Vaughn shot down and edited the movie down to about 2.5 hours. Which means an hours worth of footage was cut. So … how did the theatrical version fair?
I would give it 6 “skippin’ rope”s out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) travel to America to work with the Statesmen after the other Kingsmen are killed and all bases are destroyed. They work with Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whisky (Pedro Pascal), Champagne (Jeff Bridges) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) to take down the Golden Circle headed by Poppy (Julianne Moore). They end up working alongside Harry (Colin Firth) who is somehow back from the dead ….
Similar to the original, they kept the VERY tongue in cheek humor. The comedic beats were very well timed out and not out of place given the story or nature of the movie. Throw in Channing Tatum’s southern twang, Julianne Moore’s feigned good old girl charm, and Jeff Bridge’s odd mannerisms … they all bring new life to the existing universe. For as long as the movie was, I couldn’t get enough of them. Altogether, it kept the same tone as the first or almost what you would expect from the Roger Moore era Bond movies between the humor and action.
Two negative aspects of Kingsman: The Golden Circle stood out … both were related to excess. First off, the timing just seemed off. Thirty or so more minutes could have been trimmed overall, with several scenes lingering too long it was too much. Secondly, it fell prey to a pitfall of many sequels. The first did well, so they threw more money at it and as a whole it seemed too much. The robot dogs, the over the top gadgets, focusing on several henchmen and side characters, and the villain’s layer could have been a little more muted which I believe would have resulted in a cleaner movie. Throwing more money and characters into a sequel isn’t necessary, and I believe it suffered for it.
The Kingsman sequel carried over everything that made the first great, it just added a little too much. If you liked the quirkiness of the first or the eccentric Bond movies, then you will have a lot of fun with it. Go and see it in theatres immediately. If you had any concerns with the first then you will want to wait for a matinee, second run theatre, or RedBox since the excessive nature of the sequel could rub you wrong.
My recommendation would be a grittier and more realistic secret agent movie: Casino Royale. It might be my favorite James Bond movie, and I am a huge fan of the series. It was a fantastic debut for Daniel Craig who many people doubted could play a Bond. It stripped down all of the excess that was built up throughout Pierce Brosnan’s run and delivered not only a good spy movie … but a phenomenal movie as a whole.