KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
a criminal organization that's holding the world hostage with a cure for a lethal drug.
Over-the-top performances and graphic comic book violence enhance the spy jinks of
this amusing sequel. Lacking the creative spark of "Kingsman: The Secret Service", this new entry in the series cuts right to the chase and never lets up. The downside is the length. At well over two hours, it all goes on too long. There's an abundance of everything - including the outlandish Elton John. Returning from the first adventure as director/co-writer, Matthew Vaughn gives the fans more than they could possibly crave. For the majority of the film, this is a good thing. The raunchy humor and outrageous action place this spy flick closer to Matt Helm or Austin Powers than James Bond. It's not a spoiler to say that Colin Firth is back as agent Harry Hart. The surprise is in how he returns. Also not a spoiler is the scene-chewing Julianne Moore as The Golden Circle criminal mastermind Poppy Adams. Taron Egerton carries the lead, handling the heroics and one-liners with ease. This time around, his character becomes more vulnerable as he gets serious about girlfriend Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alström). The Statesman organization, hidden within an alcohol company in Kentucky, brings new cast members on board. Besides Jeff Bridges as Champagne "Champ", there's Channing Tatum as Tequila, Halle Berry as Ginger Ale and Pedro Pascal as Whiskey. Making brief appearances are Bruce Greenwood as the President of the United States and Emily Watson as his Chief of Staff. Clever references and in-jokes, some revolving around Elton John's songs, are plentiful. Even with its faults, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" bonds well with the original. (3 CAMS)
Rated R (sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material)
Running Time: 141 minutes