"Kingsman" sequel lacks depth of the first

photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Spy movies are boring. James Bond is boring. Yet, if I told you there was a spy movie franchise that doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest yet feels more grounded than some of the bigger budget spy movies, would you believe me? Well, today’s your lucky day, as the sequel to 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service,"  “Kingsman: The Golden Circle," arrived in theaters this weekend. I loved the original Kingsman; it was one of my favorite action movies from that year, so needless to say I was excited to see the follow-up. 

Unfortunately, the sequel does not live up to the incredibly high bar set by the first one. The sequel does have some great moments of action, but overall feels much more lacking in that department than the original. The biggest crime this movie commits, however, is the complete underuse of many of the characters from the original film, along with a few of the new characters introduced. 

First off, let us start with the story. This movie picks up seemingly a few years after the events of the first one, yet no concrete timetable has been set. During the beginning of the film, the secretive drug organization called The Golden Circle, led by Poppy (Julianne Moore), decides to target and blow up all of the Kingsman's operations, from the tailor shop to the mansion. This forces both Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) to head to America to team up with the Statesmen, the American version of the Kingsman. The story, although being somewhat predictable, does present some interesting ideas, especially in the gadget department. From baseball grenades to an electric bull whip, the gadgets really add to the overall feeling of insanity this film presents. 

The big problem this movie has is with the character's development, or lack thereof. When I watched the trailers for this movie, I was expecting Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) to be the main agent for the Statesmen; however, he appears in the movie for no longer than 20 minutes. There are a few characters from the first movie that are brought back, yet most are pushed to the side or back in favor of many of the new characters. The best addition to the characters has to be Agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), but the single best part is an incredible cameo from Elton John that really comes out of nowhere but adds so much. 

Besides from an incredible action scene set to Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright,” which is reminiscent of the incredible Church Fight scene from the original, the movie is seriously lacking in action scenes. The main villain of the film Poppy has believable motives, yet feels severely underutilized in her role. She felt like more of a Saturday morning cartoon villain than a spy film villain. Overall, I enjoyed the insanity and fun of this movie, yet I wish they would’ve focused in on more of the characters and the villain. 

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