Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of the best surprises of the year, back when it was released in January of 2015. What with critics claiming Kingsman "revived the spy genre", and the movie earning $414 million worldwide, it wasn't hard to see why the sequel quickly got a green light from Fox. Kingsman: The Golden Circle, set to release September 22nd, certainly ups the stakes by bolstering the spy element of the film. But as the critics pointed out, it may just be too crazy (and too long) for some.
Boasting 57% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 49 reviews — a far cry from the first film, which had a 74% approval rate based on 230 reviews on the website — the sequel can't quite compete with the sleekness of The Secret Service, despite adding some serious star power to the franchise. Rotten Tomatoes' site consensus states:
'The Golden Circle' offers more of everything that made its predecessor so much fun, but lacks the original's wild creative spark.
Let's look at what some of the critics are saying about Matthew Vaughn's latest film.
Entertainment Weekly: "Massively disappointing."
Chris Nashawaty of EW was certainly not a fan of the sequel, giving the film a C grade and writing:
Dispiriting — a too campy, tonally schizophrenic barrage of idiotic plot twists, wasted star cameos, and over-the-top gags that aren’t nearly as entertaining as their creators think they are. It’s rare to see so much thrown at the screen and so little of it sticking.
Variety: "Over-the-top, cartoony."
Variety's Cheif Film Critic Peter Debruge found the film too outlandish (even more so than Moonraker) and in his review for the film, wrote:
It is all aggressively stylized, abusively fast-paced and ear-bleedingly loud, relying so heavily on CGI that nothing — not one thing — seems to correspond to the real world.
Guardian: "An exhausting, exhilarating watch."
Writing for The Guardian, Gwilym Mumford too found the film silly at times and stated:
It’s a film so cartoonishly outsized that it almost renders the first film restrained by comparison. Whether that’s a good thing depends on the viewer’s tolerance for death-defying feats of illogicality, or action scenes that stretch to gargantuan lengths.
It’s a film that is utterly maximalist, stuffed to the gills with gadgets, gimmicks, ideas both good and bad. An exhausting, exhilarating watch.
Chicago Tribune: 1.5/4
Writer Micheal Phillips of the Chicago Tribune was also not a fan, deeming the film "James Bond for idiots."
'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' offers everything — several bored Oscar winners; two scenes featuring death by meat grinder; Elton John, mugging in close-up — except a good time.
The Wrap: "Pop idiocy."
Robert Abele of The Wrap didn't like the film in general and felt that director Matthew Vaughn was bored of his own film. In his scathing review, Abele wrote:
It took the Bond series 15 years and 10 movies to get to the ridiculed 'Moonraker'. The laddish spy franchise 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' series, based on Mark Millar’s comic book, has done it in one leap with the bloated, inexplicably un-entertaining follow-up 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle'.
Some however enjoyed the film, particularly the cast and the action in #KingsmanTheGoldenCircle.
Rolling Stone: "James Bond on laughing gas."
Rolling Stone's Peter Travis gave the movie a positive 2.5 out of 4 star review, loving its over-the-top, maniac energy, writing:
Even when 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' goes off the rails, and it inevitably does, this cracked caper wears you down with action and giggles. Sometimes overkill can hurt so good.
The Hollywood Reporter "Almost too much of a good thing."
Todd McCarthy gave a positive review for the film, complementing the director for his superb use of the cast and humor and forecasted good things for the franchise.
This fleet-footed, glibly imaginative international romp stays on its toes and keeps its wits about it most of the time, with entertaining and pointedly U.S.-friendly cast additions that should provide an uptick from the $414 million raked in worldwide by 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'.
The Verge: "As stylishly violent as the original — but more ridiculous."
Adi Robertson, writing for The Verge gave a mixed review for the film:
It’s a bigger, less focused follow-up without the first film’s originality, or the built-in narrative device of an origin story. But it’s also good at hitting the best notes of 'The Secret Service', and it’s just as stylish — and as grotesque — as its predecessor.
IGN: "A worthy successor."
IGN critic Jim Vedjvoda enjoyed the film, finding it "great" and giving it a solid 8.5 out of 10.
With 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle', director Matthew Vaughn has once again tailored a film that’s an outlandish mix of over-the-top action, subversive social commentary, and oddly sweet character dynamics. As absurd, ultra-violent, and darkly humorous as it can get, 'The Golden Circle' remembers that its heart and humor comes from remaining emotionally invested in its endearing protagonists.
Deadline: "Fans should be pleased."
Pete Hammond liked the film despite the "non-stop action" in the movie and wrote:
The cinematography, production design, soundtrack, and fast paced editing are all right on target in a bloated action vehicle that makes a promise to deliver 'Kingsman' devotees a much larger serving of this madness that doesn’t take itself the least bit seriously, and neither should anyone else.
So there you have it folks, the reviews for Kingsmen: The Golden Circle. It's clear that unlike the last film in the franchise not everybody is a fan this time, but the movie is a must-see simply on the basis of its starry cast, comprising of Taron Egerton, Pedro Pascal, Mark Strong Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth.
Will you be seeing Kingsmen: The Golden Circle? Write to me below!