Well, if you think more is more, than this is the film for you! One thing it definitely has more of is star power. The UK meets the US in this second instalment of the Kingsman franchise, and rounding out the original cast are new additions Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and Channing Tatum.
The story picks up with our lead Eggsy (Taron Egerton) still in mourning of his mentor and father figure Harry Hart (Colin Firth) but thriving as an experienced Kingsman in a loving relationship with returning Swedish Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Until it all goes wrong. Enter Poppy (Julianne Moore) our new arch-villain. Several explosions and loss of loved ones later, The Kingsman realize they must accept help from the Statesman, their American brethren, or accept defeat.
Now get comfortable because, twenty-one minutes in, there is still another two hours before this film reaches its (anti?) climactic conclusion. Director Matthew Vaughn brings out all his usual beautiful tricks, and they are beautiful and there are a whole lot of them. This film is a fun and visually stimulating romp, full of great stylistic montages, a cheekily chosen musical score, and an unapologetic farcical comedic tone. But no matter how enthralling this film is from scene to scene, by the end the viewer is still left with the overall sense that no one could say “no” to Vaughn. Though I laughed and cheered (and cringed), by the time those end credits rolled I found myself thinking “Did the director think he would never make another film, is that why every idea that came to him simply had to be included?” followed closely by “Perhaps the producers were fourteen-year-olds with Pixy Stix addictions…”
With a very charismatic cast of very well-dressed people, and a “golden” cameo by Sir Elton John, I wanted to walk out of that theatre riding high on adrenaline and ready to write a glowing review. Instead this comedy-action (yes, in that order) blockbuster left me wondering why it wasn’t obvious to the production team where the edits had to be made and, if I may be so bold, why the entire Glastonbury festival scene didn’t hit the cutting room floor. (Please see the internet for the controversy that was so clearly sought after by Vaughn). If you loved Kingsman: The Secret Service and you are intent on seeing its sequel, I recommend you see it in-theatre. It was clearly shot for the big screen and you are far more likely fall asleep on your cozy couch at home.