November 10th 2017
Today I watched Kingsman: The Golden Circle at the cinema. It’s been out for about a month now, and literally every person I’ve spoken to about it has told me that it was massively disappointing, so I didn’t go in with particularly high expectations. But do you know what?
I was still let down.
Even though everyone told me the sequel was rubbish, I still wanted to see it because I really enjoyed the first film. But yeah, this one was bad.
For me the most obvious flaw with it was the fact that it was clearly obvious that, after the success of the first one, they’d been given a larger budget to make the sequel with. And that’s so obvious. Everything in this one is just… bigger. But not better. Characters would make “Let’s go a mountain in Italy” decisions one second, and then be up a mountain in Italy the next second, then they were in London and New York and Cambodia, and… Glastonbury festival for some reason. At Glastonbury, they had one of the weirdest and disturbing plot points/scenes that I couldn’t even bring myself to describe, because my Grandma reads this blog sometimes. Grandma, don’t watch this film.
So yeah, they were flying all over the place, just because they had the budget to, I guess.
The rest of the budget went on the string of big-time American actors they brought in for… some reason. Oh, and Elton John, who although at first seemed like just a funny punchline cameo actually turned into one of the main characters. I’d say Elton John (yes, Elton John) got more screen time than Channing Tatum.
I’m not really sure what the point of Channing Tatum is in this film. He turns up as Channing Tatum, continues to be Channing Tatum for a bit until they put him to sleep in a cryogenic chamber for like an hour and a half of screen time (this film is two and a half hours long), and then he wakes up at the end of the film as Channing Tatum again. I’m sure having his face on the movie poster helped recoup some of that extra budget though.
In sequels, there’s a fine line that you have to balance between how much you want to nod to the original and how much you want to be a standalone original. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, there are three scenes that are basically just copies of scenes from the first film. Obviously that was intentional. They tried to make a few subtle changes to show how Colin Firth’s characters had changed since the first one, but it was too similar to really enjoy.
Speaking of Colin Firth…
Why the fuck was he in this movie? He died in the first one. And when he died in the first one it was like a really shocking, very emotional moment that was a perfect climax to one of the best action scenes in recent cinema history (the church fight). But then they decided that Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and Elton John (yes Elton John) weren’t enough faces to put on a poster so they decided to bring Colin Firth back from the dead for good measure. (Channing Tatum jumps out of a helicopter, wraps a bandage around Firth’s head, and fills it with some kind of soap that dissolves the bullet in his skull and heals his brain – or some shit)
The first film hinges on the fact that it treats the genre a bit differently, and it’s self aware of that. It was the spy film where the good guy died. And that was so cool. That’s what made the first film special. But they ruined it by bringing him back to life in the sequel. I can just about get on board with a bad sequel if it’s just bad as a standalone project, but when a sequel ruins the original, then something has gone badly wrong.
So yeah, it was disappointing in so many ways. I tried to just turn off my ridiculous filter, and once you mentally chop out the middle third of the film, it’s actually quite enjoyable.
Until tomorrow, I’m not mad I’m just disappointed.