'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' an excellent example of over the top, sci-fi, spy action

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is a sequel to the 2014 film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and picks up one year after the end of the first film.

Suffering terrible losses after an attack by a crime syndicate called The Golden Circle, our pomp and proper hero Eggsy (Taron Egerton) from the first film must join forces with his American cousins: The Statesmen in order to save the world from Ms. Poppy (Julianne Moore) a sadistic drug kingpin who’s one half Martha Stewart and one half Pablo Escobar.

The Kingsman franchise thus far has been an excellent example of how to do over the top, sci-fi action to near perfection and “The Golden Circle” doesn’t disappoint. Filled with crazy spy gadgets befitting our sterotypical cowboy/bowler hat wearing American/British superspies and eye melting action scenes this movie lives up to the crazy James Bond films of yesteryear.

Also, if you haven’t seen the first Kingsmen film, you probably should before watching the sequel as multiple call backs and plot points tie in with the original.

Kingsman does it’s best to drop the viewer directly into the action in nearly every scene sometimes nauseatingly so as one of the films drawbacks is it’s sometimes overwhelming shaky cam footage. This desire to get as close to the characters as possible can even be a bit too much as one scene involves the camera becoming a touch ... invasive.

There isn’t alot of blood and no nudity in this film in case you were wondering but still parents with younger children may want to take caution all the same.

Nevertheless for those older audience members who appreciate a good action flick will be greeted by a fair amount of comedy as well. From Channing Tatum to Jeff Bridges to Halle Berry this film boasts an all star cast who all work well off each other and help provide some of this movie’s best laughs/action set pieces. This is especially true for Ms. Poppy who’s 1950s happy homemaker vibe combined with her more brutal tendencies help to create some of the most delightfuly uncomfortable moments in “Kingsman.”

The themes at play here as well provide alot of depth as it tackles the ideology behind the war on drugs and helps show that sometimes the cure can be just as bad as the disease, especially when coming from ideological extremes.

However, the clashing between topical real world subjects and comidic action film doesn’t always mesh well and can take the viewer out of the film at times. Another flaw is that certain characters aren’t given enough screen time to become very memorable and could have been greatly expanded upon. These, plus the aforementioned shaky camera action scenes, make this flawed, but “Kingsman” is still a very entertaining spy thriller.

3 out of 4 miners.

'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' dethrones 'It' with $39M debut

JAKE COYLE

AP Film Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – The R-rated spy comedy "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" displaced the horror sensation "It" as the No. 1 film in North America, while the second "Lego Movie" spinoff of the year didn't assemble the expected audience.

The 20th Century Fox release opened with a weekend-leading $39 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday. But "It" still continues to pull in record crowds. With $30 million over the weekend, "It" is now the highest-grossing horror film of all time, not accounting for inflation, with $266.3 million thus far. (1973's "The Exorcist" grossed $232.9 million domestically, or more than $1 billion in 2017 dollars.)

Twentieth Century Fox's "Kingsman" sequel sought to expand on the 2015 original's $36.2 million opening, and its $414 million worldwide take. Matthew Vaughn's sequel returned stars Taron Egerton and Colin Firth, while adding Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and others. Made more for audiences than critics, reviews for the gleefully distasteful spy romp were poor, at 51 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fox could celebrate an uptick the second time around, albeit a small one. "The Golden Circle" also debuted with $61 million overseas, giving it a $100 million global weekend. Vaughn is planning a third "Kingsman" film.

"We're seven percent bigger than the last one, which opened on a holiday weekend," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Fox. "We grew the franchise. We're very happy."

The Stephen King adaptation "It," from Warner Bros. and New Line, may have slightly eaten into the ticket sales for "Kingsman." Few believed "It" would still be such a draw in its third week of release; horror films usually drop severely after release. But the film has already established itself as the biggest hit ever in the month of September – a welcome relief to Hollywood after a dismal August.

The "Lego Movie" spinoff "The Lego Ninjago Movie," was further off expectations, debuting with $21.2 million. Phil Lord and Chris Miller's "The Lego Movie" – the 2014 hit that made $469 million worldwide – kicked off a bustling franchise. "Ninjago," though, is the second spinoff of the calendar year, following February's "The Lego Batman Movie."

That release opened with $35 million and grossed $312 million in total – marks that "Ninjago" appears will fall well short of. It may be two "Lego" movies in a year were too many.

"I was hoping we'd do more. I'm disappointed this weekend didn't come in a little higher," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution head. "We know that each one of these 'Lego' movies are different properties. This one played young."

In its second week of release, Darren Aronofsky's already infamous psychological thriller "mother!" failed to turn the tide. The film, made for $30 million, last week became one of the few movies to receive an "F'' CinemaScore on release. The horror parable, starring Jennifer Lawrence, slid to sixth place with $3.3 million, bringing its two-week haul to $13.4 million. Paramount has proudly defended the film as intentionally divisive, daring filmmaking, the kind seldom produced by major studios.