‘Golden Circle’ falls flat with weak plot

Actors Taron Egerton (left), Colin Firth and Pedro Pascal star in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle,’ a spy comedy film that centers around a secret group’s mission to stop a drug cartel from spreading a toxin. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” contains intense, violent actions scenes, similar to what made the first so satisfying to watch. Unfortunately, with a predictable plot and little character development, it does not have much more to offer.

As a sequel to the 2014 film “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” Taron Egerton returns as the main character Eggsy, and new characters are introduced into the movie as well. This includes a new secret organization similar to the Kingsman — their American counterpart, the Statesman, whom they work together with.

The premise of the film is that the world’s largest drug cartel, called The Golden Circle, needs to be stopped because the drugs they distribute have been laced with a toxin that eventually leads to death. The film puts the viewer in the action from the start, opening with a dramatic car chase and a fight within the car. “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince plays in the background, following the current revival of 80’s music. There are interesting camera angles that make the fight more exciting, much like in the first film.

Although the first “Kingsman” had certain elements that seemed outrageous, this sequel has gone even more over the top, often leaving you questioning why. Poppy, the leader of the drug cartel, is a deranged villain who is more than willing to kill millions of people to obtain fame. Her willingness to be so evil leads to barbaric, outlandish events.

Though the drug cartel is a large focus of the movie, drugs are hardly ever seen, and they’re never seen at Poppy’s base at all. Instead, the cartel’s hiding spot looks nothing like a criminal organization and is guarded by two robot dogs. It’s all very strange, and the dogs especially were very unnecessary. It never feels like they’re combatting a drug cartel.

This film challenges negative views on drug users, and they are quickly judged despite drug addiction being a serious issue.  In Poppy’s negotiations to release the antidote, the president displays crooked, hateful opinions about those who are addicted, regardless of who they are.

Unfortunately, no real character development occurred throughout the movie, and their actions don’t have meaningful consequences. For example, when Eggsy is forced to cheat on his girlfriend for the sake of the mission, she stops talking to him for most of the movie, yet at the end they get married, with no explanation of what happened whenever they got back together.

The golden circle motif was not prevalent and it was not a meaningful aspect of the drug cartel outside of its name. Every cartel member had a circle tattooed on them with real molten gold, but outside of that it did not present much significance. At the end, Eggsy and Tilde’s wedding rings are gold, referencing the motif, but there are no other important references to this theme, which suggests that it was an afterthought.

The motion picture contains moments that capture the appeal of the first movie such as the crazy weapons (for example, a briefcase that was a machine gun, rocket launcher and a riot shield all-in-one), the brutal deaths (as some people were thrown in a meat grinder) and of course, the iconic suits. Whenever it comes to anything else of substance, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” falls flat with a big lack of character development and a loosely-structured plot, falling into the trap of sequels not living up to the thrill of the original.

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