The Latest “Kingsman” is Far From Golden

Starring in order of most screen time: Taron Egerton, Elton John, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal

A drug lord (Moore) and her network of henchmen launch a missile attack on the Kingsman. With most of their agents dead, Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) team up with the American secret agency, the Statesman, to take down the drug lord.

Remember everything you loved about the first Kingsman? The strong story, unforgettable action sequences, and stellar cast? Now take all of that, throw it in a ditch, and set it on fire. This new installment of Kingsman involves an incredibly ridiculous plot, laughable moments of absurdity, actors phoning it in, hardly any action, and Elton John’s feathered costume.

The plot is overcomplicated and makes no sense for a Kingsman feature. At first it focuses on one rejected agent of Kingsman out to get his revenge on the organization. Simple enough, for the first few minutes. Straightforwardness comes out of the equation when discovered that this rejected agent is a member of the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the drug lord’s network of henchmen who decide to launch a missile attack on the Kingsman of England, even though it feels like the biggest target of their operation is the United States. From here, everything goes off the wall, and it is only fifteen minutes into the two and a half hour mind numbing procedure. Characters scurry around the entire globe with hardly any objective, while the plot is being spoon-fed through Fox News reports. The drug lord attempts to explain what is happening, but even she does not make sense because her motives are unclear. It attempts to have an intricate plot, and while doing so, has the nerve to deliver a political message.

What makes the plot even more convoluted is the utter stupidity in each scene. In its first five minutes, the drug lord forces a man into a meat grinding machine by the pressure of her robotic dogs. Later, the drug lord gives her most valued henchman a bionic arm, which he uses for bowling a hole in the wall. On the other hand, the scenes with the good guys might be worse. From the all the debaucheries like Colin Firth’s character taking out enemies with a single bottle of cologne, to the endless scenes of Elton John yelling the curse words, one scene can never be forgotten. In an attempt to find the whereabouts of the rejected Kingsman agent, Egsy tracks down the enemy’s girlfriend at the Glastonbury music fest. Thinking she may come in contact with her boyfriend soon, Egsy must put a tracking device on her. This results in the lowest moment of cinema this year, as Egsy places the tracking device in an unthinkable place. Of all the absurdities, the shameful scene pushes the envelope much too far.

Where the film does not go far enough is with action. Considering the plot is overly complicated, nearly two hours go into characters explaining the plot. There is action in the first couple of minutes and some fun in the last twenty. However, by the time the action happens in the end, it is too little too late. With most of the time being spent on developing the plot, leaving the theater would be more rewarding than watching Elton John engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Just as the action is missing, so are the talents of this all-star cast. Leading man Taron Egerton tries his hardest, but everyone else feels like they are signing a blank check. Egerton’s old sidekick Harry, played by Colin Firth, has no likability, despite his influence in the last film. Harry was a father figure to the Egsy in the previous installment, but now he is a delusional man obsessed with butterflies. Even in critical moments, Firth feels awkward and out of place. Another actor who phones it in is Jeff Bridges, who just stands around in his office drinking whiskey while wearing ten gallon hat. Anyone could have played this role, but it is nice to see Bridges get a drink on the rocks with his check. Bridges might be bad, but Alex Strong plays the worst role of his career. Strong’s deliveries look like they come from a teleprompter. There is a moment when Strong tries to cry, but he does not even shed a tear. It is likely that all audiences will shed tears because they will never get their time or money back.

One actor who strangely has a lot of scenes is Sir Elton John. It feels as if the film is centered around him, because John is featured consistently. The plot may not make sense and there is hardly any action, but here are scenes of John cussing! John becomes so immersed in the plot that he becomes an important character. Through most of his screen time, John is wearing a feathered outfit from head to toe. At this point, need there be more explaining as to how ridiculous this all is?

If one was expecting the same magic of the first Kingsman feature, they will be shocked this installment exists within the franchise. The plot is more complex than the first and feels much out winded by the end. There are too many absurd scenes with unfortunately very little action. Additionally, all of the cast give lackluster performances, but Elton John’s screen presence might be the most bizarre of the year. Unfortunately, this Kingman installment is a joker.