ALAN FRANK is bemused by the deranged ongoings of an escapist nonsense
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (15)
Directed by Matthew Vaughan
HAVING ripped Jack the Ripper with The Limehouse Golem, writer Jane Goldman joins Matthew Vaughan to deliver an action-sodden f-word ridden comic-book-based screenplay.
Vaughan’s fast and furious direction flawlessly matches a Saturday morning serial-style sequel that sees Kingsman’s London headquarters destroyed by deranged drug-dealing super-villainess Poppy (Julianne Moore, leaving no slice of scenery un-chewed) who holds mankind to ransom for the antidote for a lethal disease caused by her infected drugs.
Vaughan ignores logic or credible storytelling in favour of near-non-stop noisy, 003-style action when Kingsman agent Eggsy (Taron Egerton), having been trained by Colin Firth’s Kingsman, heads off to save humanity from Poppy’s deadly “dancing disease,” ending up in Darkest Kentucky in league with Statesman, a US-equivalent of Kingsman.
During the mad mishmash of action evermore unlikely, Eggy saves Firth (unhinged after being shot in the eye and believing he’s a lepidopterist) who joins the good guys to destroy Poppy — whose idea of hospitality in her phoney 1950s Hollywood-style small town headquarters in darkest Cambodia is serving a luckless diner with a hamburger containing a recently minced villain in a hamburger bun.
It’s simply one daffy thing after another performed with commendably straight faces by actors who deserve better and featuring everything from a lasso that slices people in half, snarling robot dogs, a magic umbrella and, inexplicably, Elton John camping it up as alleged comic relief.
Audiences everywhere seeking a slew of action set everywhere from Glastonbury, Cambodia, London, Kentucky, Italy to Washington DC, increasingly daffy storytelling decorated with striking special effects and performed to the hilt and far, far beyond by actors who deserve praise, could well get their money’s worth.
(And US filmgoers get one extra kick — here their president, possibly echoing some filmgoers’ feelings by saying “Spare me the crap,” isn’t Donald Trump.)