Kingsman: The Golden Circle

In Brief: A golden choice for a golden movie weekend. Lots and lots of fun.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is as much fun as 2014’s original. One complaint. It took three years to get it here. That’s too long to wait for a premise that is this much fun.

Enough preaching. Praise is in order for writer/director Matthew Vaughn and his co-writer Jane Goldman. Like they did with the original, they bring the graphic novel concept to life with lots of laughs via really funny, tongue-in-cheek dialogue, some ingenious gadgets, a clever cameo from singer Elton John and others, a nice twist on a U.S. president’s war on drugs and pitch perfect villainy from Julianne Moore.

Moore — who does her first-ever villain — has a blast as Poppy. Doing her as a prim and proper lady hidden away in a jungle, Poppy has crafted an old-time soda fountain as a headquarters. Talking in a calm, sing-song voice with a motherly smile on her face, Poppy will crack you up as a sociopath with a deadly plan to take over the world’s illegal drug trade.

It’s up to the Kingsman organization to stop her.

The film brings back Taron Egerton as Eggsy. Along with Mark Strong’s Merlin, he ends up leading the charge when Poppy decimates the organization. Their quest to defeat Poppy leads them to Statesman, a whiskey distillery and secret service agency in the U.S. There they find Colin Firth’s Harry Hart who everyone thought was dead.

Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Halle Berry join the cast and will no doubt be seen in what we hope will be a sequel that gets here faster than this one. This franchise is terrific and goes the direction the James Bond 007 franchise should have headed. Humor sells this genre. Playing it straight — as the Bond films and its cousin Mission: Impossible do — rarely works.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle? It’s a golden choice for your weekend movie going choice.

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Elton John, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, Bruce Greenwood, Emily Watson, Shannon Bream, Bill Hemmer, Edward Holcroft, Hannah Alstrom

Rated R for mature themes, language, violence. This is how James Bond should have evolved and how the Mission: Impossible series shoulda gone. Humor makes these things work. Give this a 5 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale.

Click here for showtimes and theaters.

5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.

Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.

Got a movie suggestion or comment? Click here to email him.

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