The first Kingsman was dumb, but a lot of fun. It told the story of a British secret agency that fought bad guys in secret, through the eyes of their newest recruit Eggsy (Taran Egerton). The sequel tries hard to recapture that magic but falls short in nearly every way. The story is thin and ridiculous, and just lacks the energy that made the first one an exciting ride. The action sequences here are so cartoonish that they don’t seem to connect to the overall movie and don’t carry the same thrill that action movies are supposed to demonstrate. All sense of “how did they do that cool thing” falls away when it just appears like someone made it in a computer and the actors weren’t even present.
The plot is not even worth getting into, but the gist is the bad guy is Poppy (Julianne Moore) and Eggsy must enlist help from a secret American agency for reasons that are tenuous at best. The American agency, the Statesman is led by Champ (Jeff Bridges), and features agents named after drinks: Tequila (a barely there Channing Tatum), Whiskey (American icon Pedro Pascal in thick southern drawl), Ginger (Halle Berry, wearing regret for her film choices with every line reading). There are fights on streets, fights in the air (an overly animated sequence in a sky tram), shootouts in the snowy mountains and hidden jungles. The end.
How this film got four Oscar winners attached is a credit to the original. Moore, Berry, Bridges and Colin Firth must’ve similar excitement. Only Moore gets an actual part here, trying to bring life to her 50s-throwback drug tycoon. Otherwise this overstuffed film is just a collection of heavy winks to the audience. Look, we got Magic Mike and that guy from Game of Thrones, aren’t we swell?
Oh, and given that the target audience for this action flick is young males 18-34, the movie thought an extended cameo from Elton John would be the perfect thing. I’m sure there’s a lot of crossover in those fan bases. John may be a superstar, but does he really speak to millennials?
It’s an energetic movie, and is over before you know it, and forgotten by the time you get to the car. And as if the movie knows it’s a mess, it builds to a final shot that cares more about reminding the audience it can probably get Channing Tatum for the third movie, than about organically paying off anything that came before it. Disappointing all around.
My Grade – D+