Kingsman franchise faces the sequel slump…
I loved the first Kingsman movie, like seriously I was completely blown away. The plot, the characters, the action scenes, the aesthetic, totally surpassed my expectations. Like do you understand how big of a deal it is for me not to just know exactly what’s going to happen in a movie? Hollywood has a tendency to foreshadow unnecessarily and ridiculously and Kingsman managed to surprise me. That compiled with complex characters, an interesting villain, a crazy plot, and plenty of kickass action scenes (the church scene, am I right?) made for a really enjoyable experience that set a new bar for action movies. At least for me, it did. You know what they say, once you get a complex, non-romantic female lead you never go back.
So, obviously, I had high hopes for its sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The trailers looked awesome but alas, all the things I didn’t want to happen, did. In addition, the editing was super choppy, the action scenes were visibly CGI way too many times, the writing was blah, and oh my God there was too much going on at once. There was no balance whatsoever. It’s still a fun movie though, and everyone else who I’ve talked to enjoyed the movie. I did too, despite all that. I was just sitting in the theater, pissed off about most of the- uh- creative decisions.
First thing- I hated the plot. It was all over the place. The subplots were either too big or not fleshed out enough and they didn’t really come together in the end. Like the princess plot line was stupid, okay? Because no, it does not make up for the ending of the first movie by making them happy and in love and blah, blah, blah. Eggsy didn’t need any more motivation than he already had after the death of not one, but two of his best friends and his dog! His dog! Have you guys not seen John Wick? It’s literally an entire movie based around Keanu Reeves’ revenge plot against the little punk who killed his puppy. If someone blew up my pup… oh, would there be hell to pay.
But backtracking to the whole princess thing? From the outside, it’s definitely an interesting concept. Since much of Kingsman is based around being a lowkey parody of James Bond, the notorious playboy, it’s kinda cool to see how being an international super spy in a relationship would actually work out. I thought Eggsy calling the princess from his mark’s bathroom was a hilarious scene. I just- I just don’t like them together, okay? Sue me.
And Roxy! They killed Roxy! A true tragedy in and of itself. She was one of my favorite parts of the first film. The 2 minutes of screen time we got from her was glorious but it wasn’t enough. She’s such a great character, it was such a waste. Really the entire “elimination” of all the Kingsman agents felt a little too soon for this series. While I get they really wanted to bring in the Statesmen for future movies, it felt too rushed. It would have been nice to stick around in Kingsman-land a bit longer. They also just gloss over the fact that Kingsman has an extensive network. In the first movie, the female recruit that “drowns” at the beginning of training was actually an accountant or something from their Berlin office. I’d much rather know about that but Pedro Pascal was definitely a nice consolation prize.
Maybe what made the second Kingsman so disappointing was that it was missing some of the best features of the first one. While, yeah, I enjoyed the movie and will probably watch it again once I come to terms with all the things I don’t like as canon, it just wasn’t as good. Eggsy is genuinely a great protagonist but I felt like he wasn’t even the star of the movie. It felt like an ensemble movie that barely scratched the surface of the characters’ depth. And this is probably where you go, “but Rachel, it’s a stupid action flick, it doesn’t do depth.” To that I say, be better than a stereotypical action flick! I sat through a movie that was 2 hours and 20 minutes long, where’s my character development?!
In the end, I think this movie was more of a setup for the next installation. My theory is that part of the reason why Eggsy marries the princess (#barf) is because the movies are loosely following the story of King Arthur. Which, duh, I guess. But I don’t really know enough about Arthurian mythology (yes, that’s a thing) so I can’t really give you the full run down and I’ve been ranting too long about this anyway. All my hopes for the next movie rest in the slim chance that Roxy was able to escape to a bunker under her bed and has been hiding out, just waiting for the bat-signal from the rest of the Kingsman so she can swoop in and save the day.