Kingsman: The Golden Circle ★½

The Golden Circle feels like a big, fat step down from the original Kingsman. Say what you will about the first one, there are incredibly crafty setpieces that make the new James Bond films look like fan fiction. 

For Golden, it actually feels like a paint by numbers. All of the tropes are there to be played with, tossed aside for twists and turns. Here, there are none. And thanks to the marketing there are no surprises in casting. 

Eggsy is still acting his ass off, thankfully, but the crew, with the exception of J.Moore, seems removed. 

J.Moore is fantastic in a role that seems to be crafted by a teenager who really wants legalize it. The motives are so muddled, that it really is hard to give a shit about a multiple billionaire who wants to be allowed back into America. 

The third act is basically a superimposed fight sequence on a backdrop that looks like a video game from 1997. That’s all I’ll say about that. 

However, all that being said, there are charms. Moment to moment, there are pockets of warmth. There are a couple of dogs, some memories, old friends, John Denver. 

It’s worth watching if you liked the first one as much as I did. But you’ll find your mind creating its own fanfic narratives to combat the boredom. If we’re lucky and get a Kingsman 3, then hopefully they’ll build sets and just have a fun villain again. Maybe some twists too.