“I’ve been a spy for almost all of my adult life. I don’t like being in the spotlight.”
Whilst obscurity is bane to many, Edward Snowden seems to revel in it. And although spies (or even a CIA contractor) ought to keep themselves on the hush-hush all the time, the Kingsman agents just cannot help but be the cynosure of the public eye!
Yes, the Brit spies are back in action after a gap of three years, and continue from where they left off.
Director Matthew Vaughn once made James Bond go back to the drawing board with ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, and now in the ‘Golden Circle’, he merely lays down the gauntlet for 007 to pick up in the coming years.
The Kingsman sequel, if anything, emulates the sensation of the 2014 hit. Even though the crux of the plot – a negative character threatening to gamble with the salubrity of the hoi polloi for their evil deeds – is retained, it never ambles into banality or monotony. And therein lies the success of the movie.
The Golden Circle hits the ground running with a vicious fight sequence between Gary ‘Eggsy’ (Taron Egerton) and a former Kingsman trainee-turned-criminal Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), and you already realise what you’re in for.
The movie also wastes no time in introducing the antagonist, Juliane Moore as a notorious entrepreneur Poppy Adams, who destroys every Kingsman headquarters and in process, wipes out every secret agent from the face of the earth. With Galahard (Colin Firth) presumed dead, it’s now down to Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) to bring her to justice. Even if it means coasting all the way to the U.S and confiding in another spy organisation, Statesmen.
Now Vaughn has seamlessly replicated the thrill of The Secret Service, ably backed by a concrete story and a commanding performance by Egerton. Where the movie really kicks a six is the breath-taking VFX.
Weighed in by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Framestore, MPC, Milk VFX and The Senate VFX, the production houses have crafted visuals that are enchanting and supremely impeccable. The snow-clad mountains in Italy are just picturesque, while the fight sequences – especially the climax one – are heart-pounding without ever treading even near to exhaustion.
And yes, the gadgets. The cutting-edge, futuristic, lethal gadgets and weaponry on show make you yearn for its possession! When they are put to use, just stomach the visual extravaganza that unfolds on the screen.
Vaughn also masterfully orchestrates the theatric juices that he squeezes from the ensemble cast. Strong is admirable as ever, whereas Firth grows from the milquetoast of an amnesic Harry to reclaiming the spy mantle with the ease of a knife slicing though butter. Channing Tatum as a cowboy-cum-Statesman spy Tequila is veritable, while Moore exudes badassery conceived in a jovial outer appearance that may leave you floored.
The only shortcoming is the bit-part role of Halle Berry, who is reduced to a side-kick to an extent of triviality. She plays Ginger, a tech support at Statesman, who aids the Kingsman in their noble cause of saving the planet, albeit only by merely warming the seat in her lab and running her fingers over the keyboard.
Her character is the weakest amongst the lot, but that is like Novak Djokovic smashing one into the net when 40-0 up, for there’s a lot else to this flick to paper over the minor crack.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle adequately maintains the electricity that its earlier part charged the audience with. Despite the 140-minute runtime, you’re never quirking with exasperation. The lightening pace of the film will have you by the short and curlies.
In a weekend that is packed to the rafters with box-office releases, make sure this one is at the top of your list.
P.S – James Bond can take a few more leaves out of the Kingsman book.