How Kingsman: The Golden Circle brought Colin Firth back to life

She goes on to explain: "We had a slightly expanded storyline there where Richmond Valentine, the bad guy from the first movie, was kidnapping people he wanted to survive the apocalypse to keep them safe". But the latest chapter in the secret service franchise has a clear favorite - Elton John.

The shoot involved a vehicle chase between a black cab and three golden Jaguars - which has featured in the TV spot and official trailer for the film. Colin Firth is back, despite dying in the first film, which shows the film's dedication to commerce over story continuity.

All combined are at odd with the Golden Circle, led by the lead villain, Academy Award Winner Julianne Moore ("Hunger Games").

And for sure, this will be a polarizing film because of the violence - but it is often handled in a silly way that's more groan inducing than stomach churning.

This time around, a villainous group tagged The Golden Circle blows up the Kingsman headquarters, forcing Harry Hart and Eggsy (the new Galahad) to travel to the hook up with their counterpart, a spy organization called Statesman. Plus, the action sequences were absolutely stunning, with cameras doing 360-degree turns, cool slo-mos and acrobatic fight choreography. Firth plays an agent named Harry Hart, and in the first movie, mentors young Eggsy, who he's recruited out of lockup for stealing a auto.

For anyone who has seen the marketing, it gives away nothing to say that the filmmakers have revived Colin Firth's character, Harry, largely because the actor was so good in the original.

Taking ultra-violent comic book imagery to live-action extremes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle revs up with a death-defying auto chase and never lets up.

Making their first appearance in the series and adding more "marrow" to the American side are Jeff Bridges ("Starman") as Champagne "Champ"; Channing Tatum ("Magic Mike") as secret agent Tequila and the luscious Halle Berry ("X-Men") rounding out "Team USA" as "Ginger" the American tech guru.

Then there's Pedro Pascal, who steals the movie playing a bourbon-drinking, whipcracking Statesman agent codenamed 'Whiskey.' He went to Cowboy School to brush up on his lassoing. The best moments are actually when it pays homage to the first film.

But does "The Golden Circle" really measure up?

The drone strikes are sent by a maniacal druglord named Poppy, played by Julianne Moore in what was likely four days on set.

Then there's the film's knuckle-headed USA president, who decides to cheerfully doom all the world's drug users to a horrific death rather than be seen to give in to terrorism. Elton John, inevitably decked out in '70s-era feathers and oversized eyeglasses, is a hoot while dropping f-bombs and proving himself an all-around badass.

In an interview with Deadline, he said he's praying that The Golden Circle will be a big hit so he can make another movie.

  • Salvatore Jensen