Kingsman: The Golden Circle (6 out of 10)
“Manners….maketh…..man. Let me translate that for you.”
I think one of the most underrated and important jobs on a film or television production crew has got to be the role of the editor. While much of the focus for the general moviegoer are those in front of the camera, namely the actors, and while they and the director tend to get the brunt of the focus from film critics, it’s really the editors who I believe have one of the greatest and most important responsibilities. The success of many films can be affected greatly by how well they are paced, how easily it flows from one scene to the next, and how fluidly actors seem to move from one scene to the next, even when said scenes are filmed days and oftentimes weeks apart. All of that is part of the editing process and the duties of the editor. Yes, the director and some of the producers have a huge say in it as well, but it’s the editors who make the cuts, splice the film together, and give us what we finally see on the big screen (or small screen). When too many cuts, or not enough cuts, are made, the flow of the entire movie can be negatively affected. So, when I heard that “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” (the sequel to 2014’s immensely fun and effective “Kingsman: The Secret Service”) had a run-time that clocked in at over two hours and twenty minutes, I had a sinking suspicion that the film was going to be a bit bloated, with too much in the film that should’ve been edited out and left on the cutting room floor.
Alas, my suspicions were unfortunately proven true. Now, that’s not to say that there are not some fun and effective scenes, with plenty of wildly violent but fun gun battles and fight scenes, hyper-stylized car chases, and a healthy dose of humor throughout. Also, the lead actors do a fine job, as Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and especially Julianne Moore (as the main antagonist) seem to have loads of fun with the material they're given, as do Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Pedro Pascal as the Statesman. But while The Golden Circle retains much of the fun and excitement of the first film, I couldn’t help throughout the offering, thinking of all the excess scenes and bits that could’ve been edited out and trimmed down to make the film into a much tighter and more effective thrill ride. Returning director Matthew Vaughn apparently decided to up the ante in nearly every aspect from the first film, and thus The Golden Circle falls prey to the all too common and flawed sequel-ism that “more is better." If the first Kingsman was essentially a James Bond film on steroids, the sequel is a James Bond film on steroids, HGH, cocaine, and a healthy dose of Hulk-like gamma ray exposure. Unfortunately, that choice ultimately hurt the film rather than helped it.
There is quite a bit to enjoy in the Kingsman sequel, but it’s just too overlong, over produced, and over indulgent for its own good. If you’re a fan of the first film, you’ll most likely find a lot to like with the sequel, but I think many will find, like me, that sometimes more is simply not better, and that the film could’ve used quite a bit more time and care in the editing room. I give "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" a 6 out of 10.
- Ryan Zeid