So I did very much enjoy the first Kingsman movie, but I always had this feeling that it was missing something I couldn't ever quite figure out. Therefore the idea of a bigger sequel actually sounded like a good idea to me. Maybe it would add whatever was missing before. The new cast members certainly looked like a step in the right direction. It worked for me, but the response on Stardust seems to have been rather mixed.
Eggsy (Taron Egerton, whom I still absolutely adore) is back in action with the other superspies, until a rejected recruit enables a super villain to take out nearly the entire organization. He and Merlin (Mark Strong) find their way to their US cowboy counterpart Statesman for help rebuilding and revenging.
It took me a little while to get into it. The first action sequence was so over the top unrealistic, I had a hard time buying in. It wasn't until I realized part way through the first act that realism was never promised, that I decided I was okay with the practically scifi level superspy abilities and just went with it. Once I made my peace with that, I really appreciated the rest of the action sequences. Sure, they mostly go against all laws of physics and nature, but they look pretty dang cool. This is one of those movies where it's okay to care more about looking cool than being scientifically accurate.
The big win for me though was in the new additions to the cast. Channing Tatum was born to be a Statesman, I only wish we saw more of him. Halle Berry fit in so much better as a Q type than she did at her questionable Bond girl role (which is to say I prefer to see a girl acting smart over pretty). The standout for me, however, was Julianne More. First off, points for a deluded lady villain. Not something seen often. I later found that others thought her performance divisive, but I loved it. Yes, over the top, but over the top is what this movie called for. She was essentially channeling Gene Hackman Lex Luthor, which I thought was fitting and expertly done. The other cast standout was Elton John's expanded cameo, which was a total scene stealer every time.
If you're looking for the prestige of Bond or grit of Bourne, this ain't the game for you. But if you want something a little crazier that's more of a spectacle, then I say it was a jolly good show.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n