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Kingsman: The Golden Circle
 
Year : 2017
Country : United-States


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DokBrowne  [ 8.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

As this movie ended, my wife and I were sitting in the theater making small talk, and she said, "So, the main guy's girlfriend, Princess Tilde, she's pretty cute, ay? Or would be if it weren't for that nose." Don't take this the wrong way as her being petty or malicious; commenting on how attractive people are is a game we've always enjoyed (I mean, who doesn't), and my wife tends to be very exacting in her appraisals. I replied, "There was something wrong with her nose?" And my wife laughed, knowing me all too well. It's not that actress Hanna Carolina Astrom has a hideous nose, but my wife notices every imperfection when it comes to physical features; it's a skill she's cursed with (trust me, though, she's a delight). Long story short, my only observation of Astrom's appearance had been that she was pretty and I liked looking at her; whatever flaws she had were in my blind spot, I guess, and so it goes with "Kingsman 2" itself - I find my jubilant satisfaction with the movie at odds with a much less forgiving community of reviewers, who have by and large raked this one over the coals. Perhaps this indicates a superficiality to my critical faculties, though I like to believe that I can be pretty discerning and clear-headed, albeit nowhere as insightful as many of my peers around here. Certainly when it comes to how good-looking a person is, I'm sentimental and easy to please, and happy to be that way. But with movies, I do try to strike a balance between objective reasoning and subjective bias.

"Kingsman: The Golden Circle", to me, was a candy-bar bouquet of a treat; the parts that definitely worked - the endearing heroes, the loopy villain (big thumbs up to Julianne Moore), the nonchalant ultra-violence and (if it's not an oxymoron) suave vulgarity, the outlandish sets and production design (maybe it's just me, but I loved that the villain's lair was a '50s-nostalgia town nestled in the mountain jungles of Cambodia; gratuitously strange, yet visually and comically rewarding), the elasticity of its cinematography (it won't get as much attention because the effects are less practical or whatever, but the choreography of the action sequences here gives Edgar Wright's fantastic "Baby Driver" a..race for its money), the clever shift to a new team of super-spies defined by their own pompous regional breeding, a commitment to real story stakes even despite the cheat of bringing back a deceased protagonist from the first movie, the hilarity of watching Bruce Greenwood kick up his heels as a hybrid Dubya/Trump, that extra touch of style that Vaughn supplies in every scene - kept me so buzzed that I wasn't the least bit perturbed by its various hiccups, the likes of which I didn't even fully process until later: these include the sometimes shaky gags, the self-satisfied shock tactics (which to be fair Matthew Vaughn brandished even more prominently in the first "Kingsman" as well as "Kick-Ass"; call it The Mark Millar Corollary), the protracted suspense over a character's obvious heel-turn, the extended self-indulgence of it all (again, however, every sequel to a successful blockbuster is guilty of this)...and that's not even getting into the misogyny at play, because it didn't seem that noticeable to me, to be honest. I'm not saying other writers who have pointed it out are wrong, but I think they're taking this cartoonish, taboo-baiting action-comedy too seriously when they start analyzing its gender equality issues. The movie is trolling you guys.

Anyway, I came to this film as a casual fan of the first "Kingsman" (a bit overrated, but still fun) and came out the other side a full-fledged groupie of this universe. This sequel invites you to let your guard down and enjoy the ride, and I fell for its countless charms, inventive detail, cheeky humor, elaborate stunts, and how it beats the James Bond template at its own game in almost every way. You want a big international spy adventure? This one has better set pieces, more flexible action and comedy rhythms, isn't flattened by PG-13 content restrictions and the institutional decay of a stale franchise, and exudes a glee for its own existence, whereas Bond movies lately (and not just because of Daniel Craig's bad attitude) seem like they're grimacing, lying in a hospital bed hooked to a ventilator, begging us to pull the plug. Give me more vibrant, unfastened, bouncing-off-the-walls "Kingsman" movies instead.

The final showdown is several minutes of balletic, acrobatic two-on-one combat in a diner all performed in a single shot; it's possible computerized enhancement was involved to a degree, I don't know. I can only imagine that the actors did it in slow motion and then Vaughn sped it up in post, but how cool is that? Action movies SHOULD try this hard to impress us and show us a good time. Thank you for your creativity, passion, and (sorry for more contradicting terms) kitschy elegance, Mr. Vaughn. Your efforts weren't lost on me, for whatever that's worth

 
Weighted Rating : 7.0
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1


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