Warning: This review contains spoilers for Kingsman: The Golden Circle!
The latest installment of the Kingsman film franchise offers captivating action scenes and hilarious comedic relief, but it wasn’t all perfect with its misguided drug agenda and tendency to gratuitously kill off main characters.
When the The Golden Circle begins, we find out the Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) has been in a relationship with Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). (You may remember Tilde as the girl Eggsy rescued…and then did the nasty with at the end of the last film.) He’s assumed the role of Gallahad in the organization following Harry’s demise, and things are going well until an old friend pays him a visit.
Kingsman reject Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) returns with a pretty cheesy cyborg enhancement. He and other unnamed foes fight with Eggsy who eventually gets the upper hand and escapes, leaving only Charlie’s cyborg arm left. That was a mistake, though. Charlie’s cyborg arm has a mind of it’s own and hacks into the Kingsman database, exposing all agents to this currently not-introduced organization.
Flash to a different location, and we meet the major antagonist of the sequel. Julianne Moore plays Poppy Adams, the leader of a drug cartel known as the Golden Circle. Despite her old-fashioned and sweet demeanor, she’s just as much of a psycho as Valentine in the last movie. She tests her recruits’ loyalty, and even makes them eat a human meat burger to prove themselves. Sick, right?
Poppy sells a ton of different drugs and has been introducing a lethal chemical into them over time. Her goal is to hold the world hostage by offering the antidote only if the President of the United States decriminalizes her product. The president, after being confronted on the epidemic, seems inclined to let all ‘junkies’ die. It’s a win-win for him apparently, despite the fact that millions will die.
Little side note, but the movie also groups marijuana with the likes of crystal meth, heroin and opiates. The president doesn’t seem to care about the distinction, and it’s unclear if the writers of the film believe that marijuana is just as bad as those other drugs, either. Did Poppy include marijuana in her list of drugs to reach a wider audience to spread her virus? Either way, you heard it here folks, marijuana isn’t quite as lethal as heroin. Spread the word.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle also seems to be very trigger-happy with a lot of their characters. In the very beginning, Poppy sends missiles to take down Kingsman targets, killing nearly every member of the organization, including Roxy from the first movie and even JB (The super sweet pug Eggsy refused to kill in the first one. Sad!) That’s just in the first twenty minutes of the film, too. Merlin, who we’ve grown to love, ends up sacrificing himself on a land mine to save Eggsy and to start the strike back against Poppy.
Even though The Golden Circle loves to kill great members of the cast, the film actually manages to bring one back to life and add some new characters into the mix. After most of Kingsman are taken out, Eggsy and Merlin find a clue leading them to Kentucky, where they meet their American counterparts called the Statesman.
The Statesman have far more resources at their disposal and offer to help The Kingsman. They meet a few interesting people, like Ginger (Halle Berry) who is basically the ‘Merlin’ of the Stateman. They meet Tequila (Channing Tatum), who plays a Statesman that gets infected by Poppy’s viral drugs.
The most interesting part of The Golden Circle is when Harry (Colin Firth) is found to be alive. If you don’t remember Harry, he was the Galahad who trained Eggsy before being shot in the head by Valentine in the last movie. Most of the movie focuses on Harry regaining his memories and becoming part of the team again.
Oh, and not to spoil it, but you have to see Elton John in this movie, playing himself. Poppy’s holding John captive and making him sing for her at her request, and he isn’t a fan of it. John’s role in the film is hilarious, and he’s honestly one of the breakthrough stars, given his limited screen time.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a wild ride, filled with tons of drama and spy action scenes that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check it out in theaters and see how the Kingsman deal with Poppy and her scheme of mass legalization.