Kingsman: The Golden Circle

GoMovieReviews Rating:
MA15+Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Written by: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn

Produced by: Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Edward Holdcroft, Michael Gambon and Poppy Delevingne.

I like to think I have a dark, somewhat, twisted sense of humour, but about 15 minutes into, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, it stopped being funny and became ridiculous.

As with the first, Kingsman (Kingsman: The Secret Service), there is the intentional push into the bizarre with sociopathic villains sporting robotic attachments – akin to a Bond film, yet modernised.

Which led to the huge success of the first Kingsman: entertaining action with a spot of difference that refreshed the British Secret Service while retaining all the charm.

The attempt to modernised the spy genre here, however, was a script filled with the cliché and the just plain stupid.

The inclusion of the Glastonbury Festival and the aged-before-her-years bimbo and terrible dialogue with pick-up lines such as, ‘My crow is looking for a place to nest’, led to confusion with a blurred line between the film making fun of itself and being silly, or not, and therefore coming across as stupid, try-hard and gross.Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Funnily enough (ha, ha, there’s my lazy pun for the day), the apparent obsession with the sh#tter was some of the most amusing parts.

Following on from Clara (Poppy Delevingne), the Swedish Princess getting it Greek style at the end of, The Secret Service, we now have Eggsy (Taron Egerton) swimming in a sh#t filled sewer, an old man having the best sh#t in two weeks, and Elton John offering a backstage pass if Eggsy once again, saves the world.

So, you can tell the style of humour… And those were the funny bits…

The storyline had holes (ha, ha, just can’t stop those puns) as well.

Enter Eggsy, battling Kingsman-rejected, Charlie (Edward Holdcroft) leading to the Kingsmen being hacked by drug lord, Poppy (Julianne Moore) – a woman stuck in the 1950s, living her days in the jungle in a replica of the setting of, Happy Days, but with robotic killer dogs and a drive to serve-up minced human flesh as prime hamburger meat.

This is a super-successful business lady who’s getting no cred.

So, Poppy decides she wants illicit drugs legalised and therefore taxed to get credit for being a successful business woman?  And to give the government control of the drug trade?  The elaborate plot Poppy, the drug lord, devices is not going to give Poppy more money or a prize for, Business Woman of the Year.  It doesn’t make sense.Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Add the American branch of independent secret service, resplendent with cowboy hats, code names like, Whisky, and the sound track of Country Road that seems to be following Channing Tatum around after, Logan Lucky, you’ve got the original idea of Kingsman, a modern James Bond, to modernised B.S. (the sh#t included).

What I did like was the amazing camera work with the audience being spun around and skidding and kicking and Kung Fu fighting right along-side Eggsy.  And the character, Eggsy, was still likeable here.

But instead of the class of the iconic British gentleman, it felt like the entire cast was given a touch of the idiot.

Even Colin Firth as Harry Hart played a doe-eyed, brain-damaged, butterfly enthusiast for most of the film.

So, yes, there’s explosive, huge-budget action, but riding on a patchy plot, filled with the ridiculous.

Atomic Blonde

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Directed by: David Leitch

Produced by: Eric Gitter, Peter Schwerin, Kelly McCormick, Charlize Theron, A. J. Dix and Beth Kono.

Based on the Oni Press Graphic Novel Series: ‘The Coldest City’, Written by Antony Johnston and Illustrated by Sam Hart

Screenplay by: Kurt Johnstad

Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones.

Based on the Oni Press Graphic Novel Series, The Coldest City, Atomic Blonde was cold alright, with Lorrain Broughton (Charlize Theron) a killing machine breed out of MI6 to seek out the assassinator of a spy, who stole a list of all the identities of Western agents operating in Berlin, behind The Iron Curtain, circa 1989.

Atomic Blonde is a spy/action movie set in the 80s like I’ve never seen before.  So 80s it took a while for the movie to get over itself and get to the meat of the story.

After a failed attempt on her life when landing in Berlin, Broughton makes contact with Station Chief, David Percival (James McAvoy) – an operative who’s been unmonitored for years; king of the castle, he does as he likes.  Percival’s gone feral.Atomic Blonde

And the closer Broughton gets to finding the list, the more complicated the journey.

It’s a familiar story: spies, betrayal, seduction and deception, but shown in a different way – the 80s flavour of fluorescent paint mixed with the noir persona of Broughton, like the film was trying to establish itself with bright saturated colour against a mute cold character.

I felt the reliance on the early fight scenes heavy until I witnessed a seamless montage of smacking, spraying blood and keys left dangling, impaled in a bad-guy’s cheek: AKA gritty fisticuffs that legitimized the film from something that was trying-out 80s noir for size, into a sit-up and take-me-serious action movie.Atomic Blonde

I like a film that explores a different vibe and no other actor could have achieved the feminine brutality of Broughton like Theron.  Every single fight scene in the film is Theron, hence that seamless raw feel.

Angelina Jolie also played the seductive spy in, Salt (2010), but Theron has stepped up and brought a brute coldness to this role.  The sensual was there with some steamy scenes with French operative, Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella, who you’ll remember from the recent film, The Mummy (2017)).  But what I really believed was the brute force of Broughton’s nature.

And Atomic Blonde is all about Broughton.  There’s only a hint of belly to humanise the character, the rest is all action –  a hallmark of director David Leitch being a stunt man himself and directing the highly successful, John Wick (2014).  He likes his characters dry and unrelenting.  And Theron was perfect for the role.

Atomic Blonde twists the classic noir genre into something else; for me, the action was the highlight.

The Brothers Grimsby

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Director: Louis LeterrierThe Brothers Grimsby

Screenplay by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston

Story by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynhan, Phil Johnston

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Isla Fisher and Babourey Sidibe.

A spy action comedy.

I’m not saying it’s one of Sacha’s best (I mean, Borat was a revelation), but Grimsby is definitely worth a giggle, a cringe and an outright laugh.  Yes, his humour is crude and extremely un-PC.  But it can also be very dry and very un-PC!  And that’s why I found myself sniggering through-out the film.

Even though he’s got his football, hotlips girlfriend and 11 kids, Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) still misses his long lost brother, Sebastion (Mark Strong).  Finally tracking him down, Nobby finds out his brother is a spy on a mission and Sebastion finds Nobby to be his idiot but ever-loving brother.  Together, nothing can stand in their way, except perhaps for Nobby… and the people of Grimsby giving away their location… and a few randy elephants.

Nobby is the definite focus of the narrative and humour.  Dawn, Nobby’s girlfriend (played by Rebel Wilson) gets a few farts in.  It’s interesting how Rebel is inherently funny in this film, similar to Sacha.  Just the expressions on the face are funny.  I mean, Nobby showing his – I love you brother, face is hilarious.

But why-oh-why did I find Daniel Radcliff (the character, not the actual actor) contracting AIDS the funniest part of the film?!

There is a particular style to the Cohen franchise.  And even through it wasn’t his best, Cohen has created a spy action film, thrown a load of cash at it and mixed it with his humour.  And yes, I was left with a grin on my face.

Not gold but bloody entertaining.