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Movie Review: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Strikes Sequel Success (Mostly)

While the first Kingsman film seemed to maintain a certain sense of dignity amid its fantastical action and frantic characters, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is 100% silliness to the point of being a cartoon. But there’s something I found rather admirable about a film that is willing to go for it, daring to present the most ridiculous style of a most ridiculous plot.

A perfect example is with the surprise revival of a character that was thought to be dead in the previous film. He returns not because of surviving the gunshot to the face or being some sort of clone, but for the same reason any super spy gets out of a tough situation: gadgets that don’t make sense. And yet they do make sense within this story of nonsense, if that makes any sense.

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Always stylish.

The film picks up with Eggsy (Taron Egerton) still working for the Kingsman agency of spies and quickly getting into a car chase with a cyborg. One crash and severed cyborg arm later, he swims through the sewers to avoid police and make it home in time for an important engagement with his girlfriend. But when seemingly every Kingsman agent is killed (with missiles that seem to be powerful enough to demolish cities), he’s on his own with special agent Merlin (Mark Strong) to get revenge on the terrorists that targeted the agency.

The two remaining Kingsman find a new base of operations in Kentucky with the Statesman agency. Whereas the Kingsman secret agents operated out of a tailor shop, the Statesman operate within a whisky company, their entrance being a giant barrel. Their members include the electric-whip lassoing Jack Daniels (Pedro Pascal), the shotgun-toting Tequila (Channing Tatum), the glasses-wearing nerd Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) and the old head Champagne (Jeff Bridges). I’m surprised Sam Elliott didn’t pop up as a spy as well considering how many cowboy hats are present.

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Pedro Pascal slinging his guns in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’

The villain they’re facing is Poppy (Julianne Moore), a chipper woman running a drug cartel in the jungle. Her operation digs could be predictable, but Poppy brings her theme of 1950s America with her, building ‘50s style diners and salons in her tropical base. She has human security guards, golden-tattooed hitmen and robotic guard dogs. How could any villain pass up robotic guard dogs? Her plan is pretty standard Bond villain affair. She hates that her drug cartel is seen as illegal and wants the President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood) to call off the war on drugs. If he doesn’t, her poisoned batch of drugs will kill millions.

Related: Movie Review: ‘American Assassin’ Misses the Mark

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