Arts movie review

Don’t do drugs or you might die a dancing death, kiddos

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a hilarious, ridiculous, and action-packed take on traditional spy movies

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Halle Berry and Channing Tatum in Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Written by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman
Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Edward Holcroft, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and Elton John

Rated R, Now Playing

With this faithful sequel to the first Kingsman movie, Matthew Vaughn once again takes audiences on a thrill ride of a lifetime. Stylish, colorful, dynamic, and funny as hell, the spy gimmick is taken to new heights with Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and company in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Eggsy has taken over the Kingsman tailor shop in London. He’s going steady with the Swedish princess he rescued when the world was doomed a few years back, and he’s still dressed like a true dapper gentleman. However, peace doesn’t last long as our villain, former Harvard professor and deranged drug lord Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), seeks fame by legalizing all illegal substances, thus giving merit to the trade of her multi-billion dollar empire. She wants to be recognized as the world’s best business woman and aims to do so by dooming the lives of the multitude of people she has lethally poisoned with her drugs.

Unlike most sequels, Kingsman: The Golden Circle follows quite well in the first movie’s stead. It holds true to the beloved personalities and laugh-out-loud humor. Another thing I’ve always loved about Vaughn’s style are the fight scenes. The camera pans are dynamic and lively. Each fight is like a dance you follow step-by-step to the appropriate tune to keep that adrenaline pumping through your veins as you dive from punch to kick to lasso whip.

The cast of characters only adds to the witty aura of the Kingsman series. Eggsy is astute in his job but easily lets his emotions influence his decisions in the face of awkward or bemusing moments. Merlin (Mark Strong), along with keeping Eggsy in check, is a loyal technician to the Kingsman who runs all background operations. Meanwhile, the Statesman, a new secret intelligence group introduced in this movie,  acts as the Kingsman’s American cousin. Contrasting the clean-cut, scotch-loving British spies, these whiskey-brewing cowboy agents are led by the well-mannered Champ, or Agent Champagne (Jeff Bridges). Banding together, they work against the manic Poppy’s reign over the world.

The focus of Kingsman: The Golden Circle’s issue on a worldwide phenomenon such as drug use isn’t new. In Kingsman: The Secret Service, a technological evil genius targeted the universal use of cell phones in order to control and threaten world domination. In this movie, the war on drugs is a point of moral ambiguity that proves a struggle in deciding who to trust and for what reasons. The president of the United States poses the ideal that all drug users are bad and should be punished regardless. Poppy merely uses drugs as a liaison to her limelight, yet there are also many directly affected by the deadly virus contaminating her supplies. First-timers, experimenters, medical marijuana users, hard workers, close friends, and straight-up junkies all become pawns in this game of power. The plot raises the question of “How should we deal with illegal substance users?” in the midst of the chaos that is characteristic of the Kingsman series.

Additionally, the movie as a whole can double as an artistic experience and a continuing pioneer in the spy film industry. Outfits are tailored to complement the color of each scene. Poppy’s gaudy outfits appropriately fit her nostalgic 50’s super villain lair. The Kingsman agents’ suits are spiffy as ever.

Vaughn continues to create fun movies for all to enjoy. The soundtrack easily lures you into each scene and evokes all the right emotions. The cast works wonderfully to establish the humorous, eccentric, and violent atmosphere that only the Kingsman movies can pull off so well. Now, while we wait for the third installment to creep around the corner, hurry up and get yourself to a local theater and watch this movie already. Make sure you watch the first movie too. Just sit back, relax, and be taught the meaning of “Manners maketh man.”