Elton John's cameo is the best thing about Kingsman: The Golden Circle

MARV Films is the production company of filmmaker Matthew Vaughn, whose aim is to produce elevated genre fare.

The first film's big baddie, an apocalyptic tech billionaire who can't stand the sight of blood, set the bar high for gonzo villains.

Taron Egerton get suited and booted for spy spoof sequel "The Golden Circle". That was the part about being a sequel as well, I lost my discipline where you're with a bunch of friends and you go, "Oh that's a good idea", and it was a good idea, but everything just got longer and longer and longer.

Harry is the honored guest of Statesman, a longtime whiskey company whose folksy, shrewd gazillionaire boss (Jeff Bridges) oversees his own staff of down-home secret operatives with boozy names like Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) and Agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal).

Eventually, Kingsman: The Golden Circle find its footing with the once again exceptional action direction from Matthew Vaughn. After all, he was shot point blank by Richard Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Thankfully, the explanation for his continued existence is explained rather swiftly, but its lasting effects are far more concerning, as not only does it feel like a lame deus ex machina, but it's now made far too easy for nearly anyone in this franchise to be revived.

"Egerton and Firth just plain elevate the material, imbuing their characters with a depth of emotion absent from the script". I for one will never turn down a film with a laser-equipped lasso that cuts people in half.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, the star - who plays Merlin - revealed how Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman managed to get the balance right for the new flick. This, of course, means we're treated to the one thing The Secret Service didn't give us, which is a tag-team fight with Harry and Eggsy, which is also absurd and awesome. Based on a graphic novel by artist Dave Gibbons and writer Mark Millar (who also wrote Kick-Ass), the film paired a veteran secret agent with ne'er-do-well youth Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Testament of Youth's Taron Egerton), who has to confront both a flamboyant supervillain and upper-crust British society.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle will open in theaters September 22.

EMPIREAs ultraviolent as the first film, and as ultrasmutty, The Golden Circle will leave the Kingsfans grinning, even if its characters have less growing to do this time around. Instead, The Golden Circle picks up an indeterminate amount of time later, with Eggsy leading an effortless double life as a Kingsman intelligence-agency operative and working-class slacker.

The success the original Kingsman, especially in America, has necessitated the inclusion of Statesman, evidently, and while we add in doing so, we also lose what I and many other people liked about the first film, which was its inherent Britishness. Still planning on seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle this weekend after reading the reviews?

David Crow, Den of Geek: "With so much madness stuffed into its sizable 141-minute running time, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a little manic itself". I always say about filmmaking it's like eating sausages, it's best not to really know how we do it, I think it ruins the magic.

  • Salvatore Jensen