After their headquarters are destroyed, the surviving members of the Kingsman, an independent espionage organisation, unite with their US counterparts, known as the Statesmen, in order to take down an international drug ring.
2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service was a surprise critical and commercial hit. Praised for its kinetic action and Colin Firth’s Bondian performance, the film grossed $414 million worldwide. However, it was roundly criticised for its lewd ending, which left the film on a bum note.
Unfortunately, director Matthew Vaughn response to this criticism is to double down on the vulgarity, making this sequel a crass and sordid experience. This comes to a head when Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is required to insert a tracking device into a woman’s nether regions. For a film that is so obsessed with style and panache, it severely lacks any sense of refinement.
At 141 minutes, the plot is bloated and lacks narrative efficiency. Vaughn appears to be more interested in creating a ‘Kingsman lore’ than advancing the story. He obsesses over the trademarks established in the first entry and treats the series as it if boasts the cinematic legacy and impact of Bond. This is a film so self-indulgent that a fight scene is literally followed by a round of applause.
It does, however, boast an impressive ensemble cast, with Mark Strong as Merlin and Julianne Moore’s villain being the stand outs. Unfortunately, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum are wasted in glorified cameos. Similarly, the return of Colin Firth as Harry Hart is unwarranted and detracts from the first film’s most shocking moment, while Elton John’s fleeting appearance and the jokes surrounding it wear thin very quickly.
Overlong, languorous and crass, Kingsman 2 is certainly no 007. One for the Lad Bible crowd.