Film Review: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn
Rated: R
Running Time: 141 minutes
20th Century Fox

As if emboldened by an impressive box office receipt and growing fanfare, studio executives clearly handed over a blank check and unrestrained creative control to Matthew Vaughn. For better or for worse, his second time around with the “Kingsman” franchise has him embellishing every little detail to the point of nausea. Like some of James Bond’s sillier outings (“A View to a Kill” and “Die Another Day”), “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is pure insanity as we’re rushed through another absurd outing with Britain’s super-secret intelligence organization.

Within the first five minutes, the movie drips in excess action and CGI, immediately taking viewers out of anything resembling sanity. Eggsy (Egerton), the hoodlum turned hero from the first film, fights a former Kingsman recruit, also from the first film, who has a robotic arm with a mind of its own. That’s not even the craziest thing in this film. After disposing of him, we then go through the set-up motions as we meet Eggsy’s girlfriend, the sexually exploited Princess from the end of the first film, and catch-up with the other holdovers from the first flick. Anyone who hasn’t seen the first will unquestionably be confused and lost from the get-go.

The film squanders very little time getting to the villain of the film, Poppy (Moore). Poppy is the leader of a high-powered drug cartel. She wears a psychotic smirk on her face, forcing her underlings to undergo grotesque tests of allegiance. Her hideaway, Poppy Land, is a nostalgic step back into 1950’s Hill Valley with robotic murder dogs patrolling the compound. Her beef with the Kingsman is unknown other than she needs to eliminate any potential threats to her devious global plan. After missiles strike several targets in England (which is seemingly shrugged off by everyone else outside the plot), the remnants of the Kingsman activate their doomsday protocol and are forced to rely on their United States counterparts, the Statesman.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the biggest name in a film containing Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and Elton John (yes, that Elton John). Very few are used to affect except for Elton John. He arrives as an unnecessarily needed and gratuitous cameo, but evolves into a delightfully needed and gratuitous cameo. However, my disappointment stems from a lack of Bridges, Tatum and Berry, who play different components of the Statesman organization. You could also make the argument for Moore’s character. “The Golden Circle” could have benefitted from as much Moore as possible, just like the previous film benefitted from a lisping Samuel L. Jackson.

The action isn’t entertaining in the traditional sense, but in a fun, manic Saturday morning cartoon kind of way. The laws of gravity, rudimentary physics, the limitations of the human body, and common sense are an afterthought for most the film’s runtime. Just like the first film, there are the over-the-top gadgets that serve one inane purpose. There’s even one gadget that’s too sexually explicit to even attempt to convey in a PG way.

“The Golden Circle” is delightfully bonkers, locking reality out of the writing room and barring believability from the set. The “Kingsman” universe has American citizens being locked up by their own government in cages, bad guys driving down the streets of London with .50 cal machine guns blasting away in full sight of civilians, and oddly placing a retirement home below an avalanche danger zone. To expect anything remotely logical would be a dishonor to the film’s status quo, but adding a little of intelligence certainly wouldn’t hurt it in the long run.

Blu-ray Review “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Mark Hamill
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Run Time: 129 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

After “Kick-Ass”, I was pretty much on board for anything from the minds of Matthew Vaughn and Mark Millar. Honestly though, I did have much interest in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” during it’s theatrical run but I did here a lot of good praise. Well, damn was I missing out. This movie is a real trip. Bond meets Kick Ass except a little more edgy. “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a blast to watch with great performances from Colin Firth and even a nice cameo from Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. The church scene is worth watching the film alone. Easily of the best fight scenes since Kill Bill’s Crazy 88 battle. One of the best surprises I have seen so far this year, don’t miss it.

Official Premise: Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick Ass“, “X-Men First Class”), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

The Blu-ray is outstanding with an exceptional 1080p transfer. The action is captured and shot beautifully. The visual effects are sharp and the colors are crisp. The star of the film is the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, which is outstanding. This track works perfectly with the film’s music and score. Also the action sequences literally were shaking my picture frames, which was super cool. The special features are decent but a little light. “Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed” runs about 90 minutes and is split into six featurettes covering the film’s production. There is also a Gallery focusing on the sets and props. Lastly there is a Theatrical Trailer.

Film Review “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

Starring: Colin Firth, Teron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hrs 9 mins
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

1997. Several members of an elite British spy organization are interrogating a terrorist suspect. Refusing to answer the bad guy produces a previously hidden grenade. In a split second, one of the Brits jumps on the grenade, taking the brunt of the blast and saving his comrades. Back in Britain the young hero’s wife and small son are presented with a medal for valor, with a number engraved on it. Should they ever need anything, they only have to call.

2014. Following the kidnapping of a climate professor (Mark Hamill) and the brutal murder of another spy, the agency known as Kingsman begins a hunt for a new member. At the same time we meet Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. Gary was the young boy who lost his father seventeen years ago and has run afoul of the law. Asking to make a phone call, he pulls a chain from around his neck on which hangs his father’s medal.

A curious mix of comedy and drama, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” starts out well when it introduces Harry Hart (Firth), code name Galahad, a suave, sophisticated spy with all of the coolness of James Bond and the badness of Jack Bauer. Harry reports to Arthur (Michael Caine) and informs him he’d like to submit Eggsy (Egerton) to fill the position that is open. When the candidates assemble, it’s obvious that Eggsy will have his work cut out for him. The other young men in attendance have proper names like Rufus and Digby. There are also two young ladies in the class. They are met by the course leader (Mark Strong) and informed that their first task is to write their names and next of kin on a provided body bag. Failure to succeed is pretty severe.

While the kids are playing spy, the organization is dealing with stopping a crazy billionaire who is offering the world free cell phone service and internet through an item he is giving away. Named Valentine (Jackson), he’s the stereotypical movie bad guy, though Jackson makes him interesting by playing him as a lisping Mars Blackmon. When Harry discovers that Valentine’s product will cause people to literally kill each other he decides to intervene. And here is where the film goes off the tracks. Harry attends services at a white-supremacist church and soon finds himself in a battle for his life. In an amazingly filmed, but so over the top that you don’t care, scene, Harry literally kills EVERYONE in the church, but every means available. Gunshots to the head and a flag pole in the chest are two of the many interesting and gory ways the parishioners die. While a great display of some nice visual effects, this scene, which seems to go on for 30 mins, just takes you out of the film totally. Any sense of believability runs out the exit door. Which isn’t good when there’s still a lot of movie left to go. Firth does a good job as the proper English spy and looks like he’s having a good time. Sadly I couldn’t say the same.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Kingsman: The Secret Service” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to give (50) lucky readers (and a guest) the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in Kansas City.

The screening will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City. The film, which stars Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson, will start at 7:30 p.m.

Just go to and register. On Sunday, February 8th, (50) random winners will be selected from all entries. Those chosen will receive a pass for two to this advance screening. Good luck!

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” opens nationally on Friday, February 13, 2015

Official Site:
Twitter: @KingsmanMovie #Kingsman
Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.

Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.