The Kingsman: The Golden Circle

First Hit:  Terrible story with few bright spots.

What a waste of talent. How do Julianne Moore (Poppy), Taron Egerton (Eggsy), Colin Firth (Harry Hart – whose character died in previous film), Channing Tatum (Tequila), Halle Berry (Ginger), Jeff Bridges (Champ) and Elton John (as himself) all sign up for a story that has disaster written all over it? I don’t know. Maybe the Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn script read better than it worked out to be. Maybe it was Vaughn’s issue because he couldn't deliver what he envisioned in his mind.

I just don’t know, how this happened. Besides a couple reasonable fight scenes and a couple slightly amusing tongue-in-cheek scenes, the premise that Poppy was going to blackmail the President of the United States so that she could freely sell her drugs all over the world, was preposterous.

Maybe the film needed to be WAY over the top in the tongue-in-cheek category to work.

Hart died in the previous film, and to make-up a story that he miraculously survived the shooting by some someone using a FEDEX  or UPS looking plastic bubble wrap around his head and followed by an emotional shock to make him be the same person as before is ludicrous.

Anyway, the Kingsman, who have a limited crew, with Merlin (Mark Strong), Eggsy and the partially defective Hart, are trying to find and destroy Charlie (Edward Holcroft) who makes an attempt to kill Eggsy. Charlie blows-up the country mansion and the tailor shop in London and now want Eggsy. Charlie being a shunned former Kingsman, unbeknownst to Eggsy, is really working for Poppy. Poppy is running her drug trade in a lost city in a jungle. She’s turned it into a 1950’s style base of operations. Really? This is the setup. Really, I kid you not.

Then the writers add this: For help, The Kingsman team up with the Statesman, which is run by Champ. The Statesman is the US version of the Kingsman; an independent spy security agency. It is run out of a distillery, hence the names of their agents, Tequila and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Now this is exciting! But wait, there's more...

Not only does Poppy build robotic dogs to protect herself, she likes being entertained, so she has hired Elton John to play songs for her in an empty theater anytime she likes. Elton does have a couple other key momentary appearances, but he’s not an actor and it shows.

Egerton is, at times, fun to watch but the script is so disjointed and unfounded that it lets him and the role down. Moore’s role is hopeless. She attempts to be part tongue-in-cheek and part serious, but because the role is ill defined in an ill-defined movie, it falls flat. Firth seems so out of place in this role it just made me cringe. He needed to stay dead. Strong was one bright spot in the film and his centered acting made his role work. Berry was driven to be so much less than what she is by the role. She's made to be a girl Friday and I disliked her scenes completely. Bridges' role was insipid. That he chose to act in this film is disheartening. Holcroft was good as the maniac bionic armed villain. He made it work. Pascal didn’t fit in this film at all. He seemed out of place and it was clear from the beginning, he wasn’t on the side he said he was on. Tatum was fun at times and it seemed as though he was used in this film as eye candy for a female audience. He added little to the story. John can stay away from acting, even as himself. Goldman and Vaughn script was a mess from the beginning to the end. Vaughn had no vision as a director to deliver a story that would engage the audience. The film was thrown at the audience.

Overall:  Don’t waste your time for this insipid film.