Kingsman: The Golden Circle was a sequel that remembers the original movie but loses the heart.

Here’s the quick review: It was good. It was entertaining. It was NOT great and it was NOT quite the subversive, smart action film that original was or that this movie could’ve been. It danced around some smart ideas without dwelling in them. It also fell into classic sequel issues we see so often with Hollywood blockbusters, especially those that were surprise hits.¬†

THE GOOD

When Kingsman 2 hits its stride, it does so excellently. The action is beautiful. The characters are larger than life. It’s based on a comic book and it shows, from the vivid colors to the bizarre characters and their weird relationships. This feels like a fully-realized world and I love it.¬†

Oh, and one minor, but fantastic thing that I loved about this film? Princess Tilde is a throw-away anal sex joke in the first movie but, unlike James Bond, our hero Eggsy falls in love with her. He then refuses to cheat on her when saving the world requires it. And then they get married. This is a silly point to love about a film, sure, but it makes this film something… different. There’s a love story and a main character alpha-male who doesn’t want to have sex with other women, but instead finds true love in an unlikely place. It’s really a fun reinvention of the classic spy ideal.

THE BAD

There are a few glaring plot-holes that cannot be overlooked. How can two intelligence agencies that are related not know each other exist? How did the Kingsman and the Statesman not work together? It’s basically moronic and makes no sense. This was my biggest complaint from the IDEA of the movie.

The other bad is that the first movie is so good, so subversive, and so fun that this sequel can’t really live up to that. It touches on issues of drug use vs. drug abuse and societal norms. Like many of the Marvel movies, its inability to truly say something about this important part of the movie while skirting around the issue kills something special that could’ve been…

Oh, and this movies falls into the classic, generic sequel ideas of bringing back dead characters, making heroes villains, and destroying the “weapons or headquarters” of the main character. Though Marvel usually waits until the third movie for that, Kingsman does it in number 2. It’s really lazy writing to bring a character “back to the roots” instead of building on what already exists. I hate it.

THE VERDICT

I’d give this film a solid 7.0 our of 10. It’s not a movie I imagine I will re-watch again – compared to the dozens of times I’ve re-watched the church scene from the first film – but it was an entertaining, popcorn flick. Check it out in the theaters, turn off your brain, and be happy that characters seem to be having FUN saving the world for once, and in vivid colors! Wow!

What did you think of Kingsman? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!