The Hollywood Reporter notes that Kingsman: The Golden Circle has grossed a total of $3.4 million in Thursday night previews at the domestic box office. Because although everyone knows Bowie, Bolan and co are eternally and forever cool, it seems to me that only a native son of Pomgolia who can trace his roots back to the 1970's knows that Elton John will always be far, far more than the commercial-radio friendly pap he is still best known for. I don't want to get into what Moore is up to - nor the film's hilarious, if overplayed, cameo that accompanies it - but I will say her evil ploy is as creative as it is ridiculous, again not unlike what we saw in The Secret Service. Comparing Wonder Woman to the rest of the DCEU lineup, you can see that part of its success was the upbeat and optimistic feel that the movie gave.
The Golden Circle is one of the most exquisitely bonkers films I have ever seen. Right from the get go we see Eggsy having to figure his way out of a deliciously stylized vehicle chase/high octane fight for his life. It is also an all-starrer in the old-fashioned way, with the first half of the movie constantly enervated by the "entry" of a superstar actor every few scenes.
The Golden Circle is still an hellaciously violent outing, but Vaughn keeps the tone appropriately cartoonish and light throughout.
The political commentary in the movie is top notch and a source of excellent entertainment regardless of beliefs. It also results in the return of Colin Firth as Eggsy's mentor Harry Hart, despite having been shot point blank in the head and left for dead in the first movie. When the entire Kingsman network is almost wiped out within the first few minutes of the film, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) set out on a quest to avenge the attacks.
But if you're expecting the unexpected you're going to be disappointed, because it feels like more of the same.
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 headquarters and Elton John plays Gershwin at Poppy's command in Cambodia.
A third "Kingsman" film is planned.
The story takes us to far-flung locales like the Italian Alps and the Cambodian jungle and Vaughan knows how to engineer some great action scenes. I nearly feel it would have been a stronger film without him and the plot line that supported his return.
Where the Kingsman, as viewers of the first movie will know, use the eponymous Saville Row tailor shop as a front their operation, their cousins across the water hide themselves behind the Statesman whiskey distillery.
And if that still doesn't do it for you, Elton John's performance will.