First Look: Kingsmen: The Golden Circle
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy film co-produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman. It is a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), which is based on the comic book series Kingsman, created by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. The film features Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft and Sophie Cookson reprising their roles from the first film, with Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges joining the cast. The plot follows the Kingsman needing to team up with their American counterparts, the Statesman, after the world is held hostage by a new threat.
When Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service opened in early 2015, several things happened. First of all, it introduced the Kingsmen, an independent, self-funded British spy organisation dedicated to keeping the world safe whilst, thanks to their cover as a high-end tailors, looking like they’d just stepped out of a Savile Row shop front window. We met Harry Hart aka Galahad, a suave gentleman spy played by Colin Firth with grace, charm and the ability to wield a lethal umbrella. There was Merlin (Mark Strong), the organisation’s fastidious Scottish tech guru; Chester King aka Arthur (Michael Caine), a leader with a dark side; Roxy (Sophie Cookson), an eager new recruit. And, last but certainly not least, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is recruited, taken under Harry’s wing, and who finally becomes a true Kingsman, rough edges and all.
Secondly, it was a no-holds-barred, boundlessly inventive action film that played with and subverted the tropes established by a thousand spy movies before it, with Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman coming up with a fast, funny and consistently surprising concoction that constantly broke the rules and brought us things that had never been seen in a mainstream movie before, from an exhilarating action sequence set in a church to a setpiece where dozens of heads explode to the strains of Edward Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance”.
Thirdly, audiences around the world ate up the combination of old-school spy thrills and bright, new, modern twists. Kingsman: The Secret Service made over $400 million worldwide, and paved the way for a sequel. That sequel is Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in which Eggsy and the Kingsmen return to team up with an American organisation to tackle a megalomaniacal, deluded villain with designs on taking over the world. And it presented Vaughn — a man who has reinvigorated the gangster movie, the superhero movie and the fantasy movie with aplomb — with the challenge of his career.
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Produced by: Matthew Vaughn, David Reid, Adam Bohling
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 141 minutes
Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Pedro Pascal in “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle.” Credit: 20th Century Fox. Copyright:Marv Films/Cloudy Productions. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Julianne Moore in “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle.” Credit: 20th Century Fox. Copyright:Marv Films/Cloudy Productions. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Taron Egerton in “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle.” Credit: 20th Century Fox. Copyright:Marv Films/Cloudy Productions. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.