Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017): ‘The Sequel or Franchise’ – A Film Review


Where James Bond is the sophisticated and suave gentleman spy that it becomes camp to the point of a gritty reboot. Kingsman: Secret Service feels like the parody that takes the Spy film back to the football hooligans – the other British identity. If the Artful Dodger was James Bond, the spy film would be Kingsman: Secret Service – just more up to date. Based upon a comic book Kingsman: Secret Service had style and would often play upon British appearances. This successful film was likely to produce sequels as its recognisable identity dictated. Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his agents named after King Arthur’s knights would return. Here we find the problem of the action film sequels and the stepping stones of film to franchise. The CGI filled cockney espionage English comedy would return but becoming a franchise can be hard work.




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All Style…

In today’s CGI world where people are going to the cinema less, the film world is trying to evolve. The rise of Superhero films and Sci-fi’s are a deliberate extension of the more expensive CGI blockbusters. We also have 3D films and other gimmicks of the film experience, but this is all looking to get people to see the cinema more like going to the theatre. It should be expensive and different from TV and home screens. Kingsman: Golden Circle ticks these boxes by the CGI guided single shots in wide angle lenses that heighten the movement in action scenes. Fewer cuts and more dynamic range as the stunts seem harder to fake. This style is part of Kingsman’s identity as a franchise and is one of its powers as an identifiable franchise. CGI always has its problems though and it doesn’t always hit the mark – though it is fresh and exciting.


…and little substance

Where the film does struggle is on where to go now. We up the ante early by establishing a huge threat. We take the characters to a new location – a ‘holiday’. We expand the universe by introducing many new characters. Relationships grow as the typical bid to increase the stakes. We also see characters return – sometimes in increasing ways of ‘Deux Ex Machina‘. Whilst we also see a lot of ‘Chekhov’s Gun’s established to foreground the events of the film making it quite predictable. A lot happens because the sequel demands it and it holds the film back a lot upon reflection. What does help the film is the amount of charm the main characters bring and the films continual wit. This is part of the films identity and will help the film to become part of a franchise as we’ve come to expect this from the first film. One sexual joke has actually received a lot of criticism but is actually a part of this identity. The films humour is crude and blunt, it keeps things rather adult; we saw the same before and it’s back here.



The film has its problems. We will leave behind a lot of this film but we will take with us the entertaining action sequences and the crude cockney humour of the juvenile turned gentlemen. The new look at action scenes is refreshing and although there are problems with the CGI every once in a while, the dynamic range is exciting. The charm of the characters and the jokes keep the film as not too serious. This works with the flaws of the piece, which feel typical, predictable and contrived. The film’s identity is well established in only two films and there will be more attempts to keep this franchise afloat.


A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below for any who wish to see one.



After the events of Kingsman: Secret Service, an attack on Kingsman leaves only Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) behind. They find that there is an American Secret Service which is similar to them and with their help they look to uncover their attackers.


Films Mentioned

Kingsman: Secret Service (d. Matthew Vaughn UK/USA 2014)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (d. Matthew Vaughn UK/USA 2017)


Further Reading

Official Site

Interview with Matthew Vaughn

Interview with Cast

Interview with Matthew Vaughn on Action Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Secrets and Easter Eggs

15 Secrets from Kinsman: Secret Service

The Single Shot Action Scene

The Criticism of the Sex Scene

They Defend the Sex Scene

Archer Meets Eggsy


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Spectre Film Review

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Film Review

300: Rise of an Empire Film Review

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Film Review


This was an analytical review of….

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (d. Matthew Vaughn UK/USA 2017)

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