Kingsman –The Golden Circle: Wild and wacky spy thriller

There’s never a dull moment in this sequel to the 2014 wacky spy flick Kingsman—The Secret Service which had thrilled moviegoer’s worldwide. The sound of bagpipes heralds Kingsman – The Golden Circle on a manic ride propelled by, never mind the gadgets, a car that drives…sideways. Even Bond, James Bond might want to trade in his Aston Martin for this baby. As those who have seen chapter one knows, the titular tailoring shop is a front for an elite Brit Secret service, whose agents answer to names drawn from mythic Camelot: Colin Firth is Galahad, the trainer (Mark Strong) is Merlin, the boss played by Michael Gambon is named Arthur. However, the main protagonist played by Aaron Egerton is called Eggsy.

Real life camaraderie between the UK and the US of A extends to reel life; the latter-day Arthurian Knights proceed to Kentucky, not for fried chicken but help from brothers-in-arms with monikers like Tequila (Tatum Channing) Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) Champagne (Jeff Bridges) and Whiskey (Pablo Pascal) because their front is a booze distillery named Statesman. This time around then, the two countries divided by a large pond, are united in a mission to thwart Miss Poppy (played with by Julianne Moore) head of the world’s largest drugs cartel with headquarters in sylvan Cambodia.

Miss Poppy is a belle dame sans mercy who unleashes mechanical hounds on hapless prey, just like a villain in the Baskerville segment of Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes serial. Miss Poppy then proceeds to literally make mincemeat of her victims much in the manner of the Helena Bonham Carter character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The cloned stuff doesn’t stop there. Ex Kingsman intern Charlie (Edward Hesketh) flaunts a super-smart metal hand which could have been inspired by the evil cyborg in Terminator. His handler, Miss Poppy is enfeebling humankind with poisoned drugs and wants carte blanche to peddle the clean stuff in exchange for the antidote. Will the West succumb to this blackmail?

Back in Europe, Eggsy discusses Frida Kahlo, Tuscan art and blue tooth technology over dinner with the parents of his blue-blooded (Hanna Alstrom) ladylove (a Swedish princess, no less)  as the Blue Danube wafts over the soundtrack while missiles destroy the Kingsmen’s HQ and Elton John plays Gershwin at Poppy’s command in Cambodia. The viewer is also a bug on the wall at the fabled Glastonbury Festival where Eggsy is tempted by a temptress. Needless to say, the plot is driven by songs that underline mood.

Thusly, John Denver’s Country Roads becomes the Kingsman anthem as they battle the slime balls in outlandish action sequences. All of which have crazy satirical elements, co-penned by director Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman, with substantial sustenance from the comic book source material. And oh, redeeming themes like friendship, loyalty, bravery and self-sacrifice.

Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Aaron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Elton John, Pedro Pascal, Hanna Alstrom, Michael Gambon,Bruce Greenwood, Gordon Alexander, Calvin Demba

Director: Matthew Vaughn

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