Oct 02 2017

A Geeky Guy's Movie Guide to Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

First off, I know what the movie is called, but I am bracing myself for several inevitable typos as my spell check refuses to allow me to type “Kingsmen” without being pestered to change it to “Kinsmen”. Curse you spell checker (that I rely on 99% of the time to save me)!!!!!

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I wish the movie were as cool as the poster.

Over the past decade, Hollywood has begun to feel confident releasing “R” rated comedies. Although there were several successful ones before 2009, including Beverly Hills Cop, Scary Movie, and Something About Mary, The Hangover is seen as the watershed moment in this genre.

Therefore, it makes sense that the industry would look to expand this success to other genres. It looks like “R”-rated movies based on comic books are the next in line. In the past few years, w have seen the successful release of Deadpool, Logan and The Kingsman. I loved each of these movies.

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The first Kingsman is a tremendous amount of fun!

When it was released, I thought the first Kingsman was remarkably clever, exciting, and funny. In summary, it was FUN. Although it is nearly impossible for a sequel to live up to the original, I still had high hopes for The Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Sadly, this sequel fell far short of my expectations.

Having seen the original, I knew that I would need turn my ability to suspend my disbelief all the way up to 11. This series takes the most unbelievable aspects of James Bond movies and combines them with the least plausible pieces from action/comic book movies. There is literally nothing believable in either of the Kingsman movies. That is OK. They are moving comic books. I don’t want them to be believable. I want them to be entertaining, not realistic. The first was a raging success in this are. The second was… not.

While the first movie seemed too have equal parts cleverness and action, this one tried to get by with more of an 80:20 ratio slanted heavily toward cleverness. The problem is, we have already seen all of the gags. What passed for clever in the first came off as tired in the second. For me, one of the positives of the film was it’s tongue in cheek references to the first. Some lines from the first movie are reused in a new way. There were also references to funny situations from the first film. Because I have seen the original Kingsman several times, I understood and appreciated these jokes. Sadly, my wife who had only seen the original one time, did not. There fore she was left out of one of the redeeming parts of the movie. I honestly felt bad for her and tried to explain the references after the movie. Unfortunately, when you have to explain a joke, it’s simply not that funny.

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That’s not funny.
I know. That’s the problem. It’s not funny when a joke needs to be explained.

This reliance on “cuteness” did strike gold with the inclusion of a very funny cameo. Actually it was a bit more than a cameo as this surprise person had a fairly significant role. Because it is probably the highlight of the entire movie, I promise I won’t ruin the surprise. But to give you a taste, think Bill Murray in Zombieland.

In addition to the intentional links to the original, much of the movie seemed like we had seen the story before. While the first movie had Samuel Jackson as a cartoonish, silly, quirky, and over-the-top villain, this one has Julianne Moore in the same type of role. Unfortunately, she was also far less intelligent than her predecessor. For someone with a $250 billion per year drug organization, she employed a surprisingly small number of soldiers and robots to protect herself and her interests.

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So deluded that she thought she only needed a handful of guards and 3 robots to protect her multi-billion dollar industry.

This lack of proper defense was just one of many plot holes (and I mean after accounting for the incredibly silly nature of the entire premise). On several occasions I found myself asking, “Why doesn’t he just kill them instead of talking to them first?”

Honestly, these shortcomings would have been fine if the movie delivered on the promise of being an action movie. Even though the movie is over two hours long, there is very little action. I have no idea why anyone would bother seeing this in IMAX. No one needs to see this much dialogue and attempts at being clever on a larger than life movie screen. I saw it last night and I can only think of three sequences with significant action.

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Why a briefcase with a machine gun in it instead of simply a machine gun?
Who cares? At least it was some action for a change.

Instead of action, much of the movie plays like a drawn out soap opera plot involving snapping a loved one out of their amnesia. I actually think the inclusion of amnesia may be apropos as I believe at times the writers wanted us to forget we had seen the movie before… although then why include so many references to the previous movie? (Soap operas! Never try to figure them out.)

In other spy movies, the writers sometimes choose to forgo action in order to include a mystery solving aspect to the film. The Kingsman:The Golden Circle did not even attempt to do this. The entire plot is spelled out from the very beginning with absolutely no twists or turns. I believe the writers thought the movie included enough clever lines and comedy to make up for the lack of action and mystery. It did not.

Oh and if you are like my wife and you went specifically to see Channing Tatum, don’t bother. He is only in the movie for about 10 minutes.

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Here you go ladies. If you look at this for 11 minutes, you will have seen Mr. Tatum for one more minute than you would have in the movie.

And now for the truly strange part. Although this review may have read like I hated this movie, I did not. Because I enjoyed the surprise character, searching for all the connections to the previous movie, laughed out loud a few times, and enjoyed what little action there was, I did not think it was a complete waste of time.

However, that is the rub. Due to the lack of action and the repetitive plot, it was a waste of time and money to see this in the theater.

I probably would have enjoyed the movie more if I did not waste a babysitter on seeing this. (Babysitter time is like gold in my house. I would not knowingly spend that capital on this type of movie.)

Geeky Guy’s Viewing Guide

Number of times I fell asleep: 0
Number of eye rolls: 4 (And that is even though I knew I would seriously have to suspend my disbelief. )
Number of face palms: 2 (Nothing could prepare me for a couple of the plot holes… or weird singing.)
Number of times I checked steemit: 2 (Once on the way to the bathroom, once on the way back. I don’t think I missed anything while I was gone.)
Number of times I said “That’s ridiculous”: (The singing. Trust me, if you see it, you will understand exactly what I mean.)
Full price/Matinee/Rental/Free/Not worth the time: If you loved the first one, rent this one. If not, wait to see it on Netflix.
Appropriate for my kids: No! No! No!

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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