Cinema Review – Kingsman: The Golden Circle

After Eggsy (Taron Edgerton) – the new Agent Galahad – is attacked by disgruntled Kingsman reject Charlie (Edward Holcroft), the team realise there is a new threat to their agency on the rise. After all Kingsmen locations are fatally attacked, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) turn to their American cousins Statesman to join forced and take down the threat; a mysterious drug dealer named Poppy, whose plan threatens millions of people around the world.

Two and a half years after the release of the first Kingsman film, Eggsy and his colleagues are back on the big screen with a new cast of characters and a new villain to take down. It is clear that the move to include the US agency Statesman was calculated to get US audiences on board with the over the top and hyper violent franchise, but although The Golden Circle is more consistent in tone than the first film, and tries very hard to be fun, this new film is certainly missing a twinkle in its eye.

The cast is made up of Taron Edgerton, Mark Strong and Colin Firth as the surviving Kingsmen, and introduces Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Pedro Pascal as the Statesman agents; the film also stars Hanna Alström, Keith Allen, Tom Benedict Knight, and Julianne Moore as the villainous Poppy. The cast do fine with their roles, but are never given a chance to develop anything other than the superficial. In fact, there are some of the cast who are horribly underused, such as Michael Gambon, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Emily Watson who, it seems, never quite get the chance to get going.

Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn’s screenplay has solved some of the problems of the first film, and evened out the overall tone of the film, which wobbled throughout the Kingsman’s first outing. That said, there are some brand new problems that arise in this sequel, such as an overly long running time that makes the pacing of the film stumble often, and the rather thin story feels drawn out. As well as this, the characters never feel anything other than one dimensional, and there is very little fun to be had, other than some self-conscious attempts at humour throughout the film.

As director, Matthew Vaughn tries his best to give Kingsman: The Golden Circle a sense of energy and fun, but although the action scenes are fast paced and violent, and it is clear that he is having fun with the gadgets and the juxtaposition of gentlemen being violent killing machines, it rarely feel as though Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a film that is having fun. Even though the film has more of a cohesive feel than its predecessor, and there is certainly a feel of fun and tongue in cheek humour with Poppy’s homesick hideout, the shine is quickly rubbed off Kingsman: The Golden Circle, a shine that not even Elton John’s wonderfully over the top cameo cannot replace.
In all, Kingsman: The Golden Circle certainly solves some of the issues with its predecessor, but feels overly long, lacks fun, and criminally underuse’s much of its stellar cast. Let’s not even get started on the portrayal of women in the film, or we will be here all day. Fans of the franchise are sure to be delighted, but if you were not convinced by Kingsman: The Secret Service, then this new sequel is certainly not for you.

Rating: 2/5

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TIFF Review – Valley of Shadows

After his friend shows him the carcasses of sheep killed in the night, six year old Aslak (Adam Ekeli) goes in search of the monster that butchered them. Believing that the woods near his house hold the answers he seeks, Aslak ventures off alone, and although closure comes, it is perhaps not quite the kind that Aslak went in search of. Continue reading

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TIFF Review – Disapperance

Roos (Rifka Lodeizen) returns to her mother and younger brother after many years away from the family home. Roos works as a photographer and her work has taken her across the world, but she returns home with a terrible secret; she is incurably ill. Unable to find the right time and the right words to tell her family, Roos spends time at home getting to know her family again, but it is only a matter of time before the truth must come out. Continue reading

TIFF Review – What Will People Say

Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) is a young Pakistani woman, living in Oslo with her strict and traditional family. Although she follows the rules and appears to be an obedient and dutiful daughter at home, outside the confines of the house, Nisha behaves more like a western girl, hanging out with boys, experimenting and exploring the world around her. When her father catches her with a boy in her room, Nisha is taken to Pakistan against her will, in order to learn what it truly means to be Pakistani, and what her parents expect from her.
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Cinema Review – Maudie

Maud (Sally Hawkins), an arthritic young woman who is never truly treated as an adult by her aunt Ida (Gabrielle Rose) and her brother Charles (Zachary Bennett), longs for her freedom. To achieve her goal, Maud becomes the live in housekeeper of the surly and cantankerous Everett (Ethan Hawke), and in their small house in Nova Scotia love and Maud’s ability to paint are nurtured. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

After their school Principal Mr Krupp (Ed Helms) threatens to put them in seperate classrooms, best friends George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) must find a way to stay together. When George discovers a magic ring that Krupp once confiscated, he hypnotises their teacher into believing he is a character the duo created; Captain Underpants. When teacher Professor P (Nick Kroll) arrives at the school with the plan to remove all laughter from the children, George, Harold and their newly created hero must find a way to stop him.
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Cinema Review – Girls Trip

In college, Ryan (Regina Hall), Sasha (Queen Latifah), Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) were best friends, calling themselves the Flossy Posse. Years later, the friends have drifted apart, but when successful author Ryan is to be keynote speaker at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, she invites her friends, in the hopes of rekindling their friendship. In between the drinking, dancing and brawling, the four friends uncover some uncomfortable home truths that put their tentative friendship in jeopardy again.
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Cinema Review – Dunkirk

In 1940, 338, 226 Allied soldiers were rescued from the beach in Dunkirk, having been pinned there by the advancing German Army. The evacuation did not run smoothly however, with a fierce battle being fought in the skies and the seas of Dunkirk as the soldiers prayed for a miracle. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Cars 3

Still racing in the Piston Cup, but far from being the rookie he once was, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) finds himself struggling to keep up with the newer, faster – and more arrogant – cars entering the sport. To keep his edge, McQueen decides to train with the new technology the young cars are using, but when he meets trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) he becomes frustrated with her training techniques and decides to do things his own way.
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Cinema Review – War for the Planet of the Apes

Two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, war has finally taken over the relationship between apes and humans, with humans struggling to stay relevant in an ape-ruled world. When Caesar’s family is murdered by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson), a soldier determined to keep the earth for the humans, Caesar sets out to enact his revenge, putting all apes in danger as he does so. Continue reading

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