Manners maketh the man, and action-fuelled scenes maketh the sequel to the 2015 smash hit Kingman: The Secret Service. Directed by Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass) and based off the popular comic book series by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, we have a stellar ensemble with newcomers Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore and Halle Berry to add some American flavour to a spy movie that could almost be a James Bond movie if it weren’t for elements that resemble Skins or Eastenders. What made the predecessor so original and downright fun was the essence of British class, the impeccable pace and the minimal characters that worked in unison to give us an edgy movie with black humour so distinctive it knew it didn’t take itself too seriously.
It worked the first time, at least.
Egsy (Taron Egerton-Sing) alongside Merlin (Mark Strong) must enact the Doomsday protocol when Kingsman Headquarters are destroyed along with the remnants of the organisation. Ol’ spy tropes of the organisation and identities being compromised (think Mission Impossible, Skyfall) coupled with the amnesia of an old mentor (MIB 2, Jason Bourne) potentially see the film take the basic training route of narratives, but this is dusted off with the addition of psychotic yet chillingly convincing villain Poppy (Moore). Waging a war on the criminalization of drugs does get trivial at times, and while touching on the widespread recreational use that touches upon all walks of life, the film does not offer a concrete solution past this point nor does it provide a motivation for Poppy’s push for legalisation past notoriety and capitalism. Many drug-induced sequences offer humour and take the tension away from grizzly meat mincing scenes of cronies alike, but this is an avenue that could have been explored better but is glossed over than the intimate scenes.
Certainly, the action is sped up and the soundtrack has a Guardians of the Galaxy approach to layering a pop rock song over the sequence. In this moment, Elton John’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ is appropriated to Wednesday, and Sir Elton makes use of his knighthood with some sassy resistance. 141 minutes is a bloody long time for a movie that’s supposed to be as slick as this, and for an extended run time the additional characters are messily interlaced in the plot scenes, but by the end of the film you remember why you signed up in the first place.
It’s a good enough, bruv.
20th Century Fox