‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle,’ a romp beyond expectations

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Karen Kunawicz

Oh, where do I begin with “Kingsman: The Golden Circle?” First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed Kingsman: The Secret Service so much, I watched it twice. It was clearly a tough act to follow, but director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn and team have come up with a follow up that totally just ups the stakes, astonishes and delights the audience.

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Therefore, I dare say that the second installment is even better than the first one. The first one was there to get us revved up, started and hooked.

The film just has a string of fabulous surprises that work so well—they’re not forced, milked or overplayed. I can’t really go into further details without spoiling the film.

Julianne Moore as Poppy

Going into the things I can reveal about the higher stakes, there are new cast members and they’re heavy hitters. First off, Channing Tatum is on board as Agent Tequila, Jeff “The Dude” Bridges is Agent Champagne—but he prefers to be called “Champ” and if you still miss Oberyn Martell from “Game of Thrones,” Pedro Pascal is the lasso and whip wielding Agent Whiskey. All of them belong to Kentucky based team, The Statesmen.

If that isn’t enough of a line up, Oscar award winning actresses Halle Berry and Julianne Moore play Agent Ginger Ale and new villainess Poppy. Ginger is Merlin’s (Mark Strong) steady and efficient counterpart in the Statesmen, by contrast, Moore gets to really be properly wicked and both composed and unhinged at the same time.

Taron Egerton as Gary ‘Eggsy’

Speaking of Oscar winners, best actor Colin Firth is back as Galahad—who we all thought was dead. We’ll find out what happened here. And of course Taron Egerton (no Oscars yet) returns as Eggsy aka also Galahad.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is hilarious, wild, sometimes oddly sweet, crazy and actually bizarrely subversive. The set pieces are elaborate; the fight and action scenes are fabulous and madcap.

It is absolutely great cinema. And yes, like its predecessor, I am going to see it again.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is out on the IMAX (large but not 3D) format, and regular, digital formats.

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