Every Matthew Vaughn Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

Kingsman The Golden Circle

In an all too saturated market of reboots and nine-part movie franchises, having fresh ideas on screen was sorely needed by the time "Kingsman: The Secret Service" reinvented the spy genre only a few years ago. But has some of that old-school charm been lost in the effort to ramp up the stakes?

The Golden Circle finds the British independent intelligence agency known as the Kingsman teaming up with their US counterparts, The Statesmen, in order to stop a plan by the world's most power drug cartel boss (Julianne Moore). And judging by the results of this sequel, "when" would have been the closing credits of the first film.

Are you going to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle this weekend? Colin Firth is back, despite dying in the first film, which shows the film's dedication to commerce over story continuity. It's disappointing to have seen the big reveal of his survival from Samuel L Jackson's bullet in the trailers, but it's still a welcome return and a smart move by the writers - even if the circumstances surrounding his well-being are a little farfetched. The parallel-agency concept opens the door for a whole supplemental cast: bristly Tequila (Channing Tatum), hospitable Champ (Jeff Bridges), gadget-y Ginger Ale (underutilized Halle Berry), and lasso-twirlin' Whiskey (Pedro Pascal, channeling Burt Reynolds).

You're right to gasp.

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Returning director Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass) kicks things off with a bruising brawl in a London cab, followed by the destruction of the Savile Row headquarters, after which the newly minted alpha agent (Taron Egerton) and his tech guru (Mark Strong) must jet off to the US. Critic Gwilym Mumford criticized the movie for its cartoonish feel, which made it look like it took itself less seriously than the first film.

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

Stylish but wayward, director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn's action sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (Fox) spoils its own fun by refusing all hint of restraint. One is straight-up superhero fare, the other a parody of that concept, and the latter has more in common with the outlandish James Bond movies than the world of capes and spandex.

But that also means lots of downtime spent integrating the new characters, plus getting Harry to the point where he can participate in the mission. Between the seamless visual effects and the hyperkinetic action sequences - choreographed and edited together with creative precision - the film has style and attitude to spare. Bring on the sequel.

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