Tuesday, September 26, 2017

All the Glitz But None of the Heart - Kingsman: The Golden Circle Spoiler Free Movie Ryivew

Kingsman: The Golden Circle, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

This will be spoiler free (aside from what's been readily available in trailer form). So the usually note applies: blah blah "if you don't want any info don't read any more" blah blah "won't spoil plot points" blah blah "Snape kills Hermione"

I'm just going to come right out and say that I had high hopes for this movie and I was severely disappointed. But I do feel like I need to qualify that statement a bit.

I was grinning during the entire film (pretty much). I found myself entertained and I was not bored. But by the time the credits rolled, I definitely felt betrayed, angry, and all around frustrated at what I just saw.

What happened was Matthew Vaughn decided that everyone loved the very end of the first Kingsman movie and made the whole sequel like that: big campy action and gore, complete with over the top villainy and mischief. The heart and soul from the first movie are whispered at, but any attempt at feelings fall pretty flat. Honestly I'm shocked that it's the same director.

The plot is weaker than the first one. The motivations for the villain, while crazy in the first entry, are downright stupid in this one. The writing is painfully trite or awkward in numerous places. There are several scenes with a certain celebrity cameo that were just terrible. And several jokes seemed so shoehorned in that I wondered if some writer added them to the wrong movie.

Stylistically and visually, the movie doesn't disappoint. It does still have that same cinematic Kingsman feel from the first movie, where the whole thing feels like a comic. That works, but as I said, it wasn't what made the first movie special.

The best comparison I can think of is what happened between Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3. Personally, I think Saints Row 2 is one of the best games of all time. It combines somber, hilarious, meaningful, frightening, and epic all into one phenomenal package. Then 3 comes along and the studio decides that people only wanted the hilarious and epic parts. Which honestly doesn't even sound that bad on paper, but what resulted was a soulless shell of a game devoid of any meaning or emotion. It was the same humor, but it was unbalanced by anything else.

Backing up a bit, I do think the actors did the best they could with a bad situation. While I found the over the top plot and writing to be against my tastes, the editing and acting still worked out quite well. Both new and old characters did fantastic jobs, and technically the movie flowed as it should.

But at the end of the day, a great actor can't save a terrible movie. The Golden Circle was an overcrowded thesis on why "let's use a bunch of awesome gadgets" isn't a great movie formula. "Let's have a coming of age tale where he happens to get some cool gadgets" worked much better.

My long story short version is this: It's a fine popcorn romp if you're able to turn off your brain effectively and guffaw at some action comedy, but if you're looking for a movie that matches the emotion and quirk of the first movie, you'll be sorely disappointed. And if you didn't like the first movie, I don't like your odds here either.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Until next time,


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