The Daily Cup 44 Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

Franchises have been around in Hollywood for a long time. James Bond, Star Trek, Star Wars, Rambo have all been around for 35+ years. The notion that franchises or perpetual sequels are a new phenomenon is simply incorrect. What is correct is that frequently (not always) a sequel is so much less than its previous installment, that your interest in the franchise erodes. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) did just that for me to a once promising franchise.

I really enjoyed the first Kingsman movie, it was a slick, stylized spy thriller with some cool characters and great performances. I was looking forward to more awesome actions scenes with some cool characters, and was hoping they’d grow and advance those characters more. Instead I got a film that disposed of most of its best characters, introducing ones that I didn’t care for, and committed such idiotic and gross acts of vulgarity and misogyny that the cool action sequences that were there were merely footnotes of a gross movie.

Taron Egerton returns as hooligan turned gentlemen spy Eggsy as a member of The Kingsman, a private espionage firm protecting Britain and the world from destruction. In this journey he has to stop a plot from worldwide drug kingpin Poppy, played by Julianne Moore. After Poppy’s organization kills every member of Kingsman except Eggsy and tech guru Merlin (Mark Strong) the two survivors are forced to seek help from their American counterparts The Statesmen. The Statesmen are alcohol distillers and are led by Champagne (Jeff Bridges). Statesmen agents Tequila (Pedro Pascal) and Tequila (Channing Tatum) assist them along with Statesmen tech guru Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). The rest of the film is derivative save the world fare, but done with casual misogyny and a focus of style over substance.

 Remember this cool female character from the first film? She's killed in the first act after helping the protagonsit score points with his girlfriend. Women are disposable plot advancers in this film and nothing more. 

Remember this cool female character from the first film? She's killed in the first act after helping the protagonsit score points with his girlfriend. Women are disposable plot advancers in this film and nothing more. 

Two scenes ruined the movie for me. The first scene Poppy (Moore) a saccharine sweet 50s nostalgia driven Bondesque villain (complete with volcano lair) forces a henchman to kill another to henchman prove his loyalty, the murder weapon is a meat grinder. To further prove his loyalty this henchman then has to eat a cheeseburger made from the meat of his former comrade. This casual violence layered with vulgarity could’ve worked if there was a payoff, except the human burger eating henchman is later killed in a pointless scene. Either scene serves the purpose of Poppy requiring absolute loyalty from her henchmen (a good thing to do for a villian) but having both of these scenes was just Matthew Vaughn showing off how edgy he is. That’s not edgy Matthew, that’s crass.

The second scene and by far the most heinous crime committed to the story and final edit of the film was a scene involving Eggsy committing a consequence free act of sexual assault layered with misogyny. To get to the point, he inserts a device into the vaginal cavity of a woman without her consent, minutes after asking his paramour for permission to do so. Also they actually animated the device going into the vaginal cavity is the creepiest and most male gaze digital effects shot in cinema history. His paramour said no, but he did it anyway. In a few short minutes he violates the consent of two women. Eggsy faces no consequences for this action as one of the women is casually killed by a jealous lover and the other never mentions it again and happily gets married this piece of shit “hero.”

This film should be used as an example of how to kill a franchise that showed promise. Hopefully filmmakers will learn that treating women like objects, useless for no other purpose than advancing the plot doesn’t fly. The mega cool action scenes a nice use of Elton John as himself couldn’t save this film from its obession with shock value and style instead of just telling us a good story with characters we care about.

Tally

Movies new to me watched: 35/292

Other movies: 9/73

Total movies watched: 44/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at kyle@hotchocolatemedia.net or on Twitter at @kbdekker.