Monday, January 01, 2018

Kingsmen: The Golden Circle: Brilliant but Unfortunately Not Suitable for All Audiences

Movie Review: Kingsmen: The Golden Circle (2017)
Version: Library borrow

The second movie in the Kingsmen franchise, The Golden Circle, is brilliant. But unfortunately it isn't for everyone. Certain language and a very explicit sexual scene make sure of that. Adult supervision is strongly advised during the music festival scene! If you're okay with strong language and you can keep the kids out of the room during the music festival scene, then teens might get through this otherwise fun, action-packed film unscathed.

Julianne Moore plays a drug lord who has tainted the world's supply of recreational drugs with a toxin that over time renders users first silly, then crazy, then paralyzed, then dead -- unless the United States gives in to her demands to legalize all drugs. Then she will release an antidote with immediate results to rescue the world's population of drug users. And it turns out, it affects people of all walks of life, including the president's chief of staff, a Kingsman's love interest, most of the world's population, and best of all, entertainer/song writer Elton John, who steals the show near the end.

The Kingsmen become involved when Moore's character, Poppy, blows up their headquarters in London and elsewhere. The only Kingsmen left are Eggsy (played once again by Taron Egerton) and Merlin (played again by Mark Strong). A clue leads them to a whiskey distillery in Kentucky, where they discover a "cousin" organization called The Statesmen. They meet a group of very erstwhile American agents, including leader Champ (played by Jeff Bridges), Tequila (played by Channing Tatum), and Whiskey (played by Pedro Pascal), whom they enlist in the battle against Moore's drug empire known as The Golden Circle. The Statesman's version of Merlin is Ginger (played by Halle Berry). An added interesting twist, Poppy has enlisted the help of Charlie (played by Edward Holcroft), one of the Kingsmen enlistees who didn't make it in the last movie. Colin Firth returns as Harry, rescued and resuscitated by The Statesmen but not knowing who he was.

For every Kingsmen British skill and tool, there is a Statesmen American equivalent in this movie, making for an entertaining match up as the story plays out. Umbrellas and suitcases give way to whips and lassos, stylish bowlers give way to Stetsons, broughams give way to cowboy boots, and on and on. But what they all have in common is their flair for quick action and well honed technique. From the beginning to end of the film, there is action. And just for added fun, Elton John gets to throw in a high-air karate kick during a rescue-scene sequence at Poppy's Cambodian lair. It's worth watching the movie just to see that!

So much imagination went into the making of this film. Not just the sets in London and surrounding countryside, but also making the Kentucky distillery look amazing. And then Poppy's lair is just out of this world incredible! Add to that the CGI for robotics and the special effects for the car chase scenes! Then the attention to detail for the fight scenes. For an examination of all that, make sure you get the Blue-Ray version, which includes an Extras section that lasts well over an hour -- there is so much there to see and absorb in that section alone!

My uptake for this film is, if you can take the more than occasional f-bomb throughout this film, and if you aren't squeamish about the explicit sexual scene during the music festival, see Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It's really quite brilliant, as the Brits like to say.

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