- Harry Hart: "What do you see?"
- Eggsy: "Someone who can't believe what the fuck is going on."
- ―Hart and Unwin converse
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a sequel and the successor to the Kingsman: The Secret Service film.
A year has passed since Eggsy Unwin and the spy organisation Kingsman saved the world from Richmond Valentine's neurological wave broadcast, and he has since taken his late mentor Harry Hart's title of "Galahad" and is living with Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden. One day, on his way home, he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh, a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords to the explosive microchip that was triggered during the Valentine incident. Eggsy loses Charlie and his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie's severed cybernetic arm hacks into the Kingsman servers through the car's computer system. While Eggsy dines with Princess Tilde and her parents in Sweden, a volley of missiles destroy the Kingsman headquarters and wipe out Roxy and all of the Kingsman agents in Britain.
Being the only surviving agents, Eggsy and Merlin follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to "Statesman", a secret American organisation posing as a Bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky. There, they discover that Harry survived the gunshot by Valentine a year earlier, but is suffering from amnesia. Eggsy and Merlin are briefed by Statesman head, Champagne, about a secret terrorist organisation called "The Golden Circle" and start their mission by following Charlie's ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg. When Statesman agent Tequila develops blue rashes, he is replaced by agent Whiskey as Eggsy's partner. Eggsy manages to plant a tracking device inside Clara, but his revelation of his mission to Princess Tilde strains their relationship. After several failed attempts to cure Harry's amnesia, Eggsy brings in a Yorkshire Terrier puppy that resembles Harry's late dog Mr. Pickle and threatens to shoot it, triggering the return of Harry's memories.
Poppy Adams, head of world's largest drug cartel posing as a pharmaceutical company, broadcasts a message telling the world about a toxin she laced within every recreational drug available, which causes users to, at the first stage, develop blue rashes before progressing through mania, and then paralysis and ultimately, death. She also demonstrates the antidote on a captive Elton John and offers it to the world if the President of the United States ends his country's War on Drugs and makes her organisation immune to all convictions. The President decides to take advantage of the situation to kill every junkie in the world and has every affected user quarantined, including his Chief of Staff, Fox. Eggsy, Harry, and Whiskey head to the antidote factory in Italy after intercepting a phone call to Charlie by Clara. Eggsy manages to steal an antidote sample, but it is broken by Whiskey during an ambush by The Golden Circle's henchmen. During the gunfight, Harry shoots Whiskey in the head, as he suspects that Whiskey is playing both sides, but Eggsy saves him with the same alpha-gel used to save Harry. Princess Tilde calls Eggsy in a state of mania, revealing that she has the blue rashes before falling into paralysis. Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin discover the location of Poppy's hideout, "Poppy Land", in Cambodia and fly there to steal the remote control for the antidote drones.
Upon their arrival at Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine but is saved by Merlin, who sacrifices himself while taking the lair's guards with him. Eggsy and Harry storm through the lair and Eggsy kills Charlie while Harry destroys Poppy's robotic guard dogs with the help of Elton. They secure the briefcase with the access code to the drones and inject Poppy with a more potent dose of her toxin, and she gives them the password before succumbing to a heroin overdose. Before they can activate the drones, they are stopped by Whiskey, who, having previously lost his wife to crossfire from two drug users, is revealed to be working alone to ensure that all drug users are eliminated. Eggsy and Harry engage Whiskey in a grueling fight at Poppy's diner before forcing him through Poppy's meat grinder. They release the antidote drones, saving millions of lives around the world.
In the aftermath of the incident, Chief of Staff Fox has the President impeached for conspiring to commit mass genocide on the drug victims. Champagne announces that Statesman has acquired a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. As a means to avoid the confusion of two Kingsman agents using the codename "Galahad", Champagne offers either Eggsy or Harry the agent title of Whiskey, but they decline and Statesman tech support Ginger Ale steps in to take the role. Eggsy marries Princess Tilde, and Tequila moves to London to work for Kingsman.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle was originally scheduled for a summer release, June 16, 2017 by 20th Century Fox, but was moved back to 29 September 2017 in the UK and on 6 October 2017 in the United States but eventually it was moved up a week in the latter for a simultaneous release.
Ratings and Reviews
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 51% based on 176 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle offers more of everything that made its predecessor so much fun, but lacks the original's wild creative spark." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 46 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Writing for Uproxx, Amy Nicholson called the film better than the first, writing: "The Golden Circle has matured just enough. It’s doubled down on the mayhem and hammered out the tone. Everything is sincere even when it’s insane." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars and wrote, "The stunts defy the laws of gravity, but are no less fun for that; watch out for the fight on the ski lift. Even when Kingsman: The Golden Circle goes off the rails, and it inevitably does, this cracked caper wears you down with action and giggles. Sometimes overkill can hurt so good."
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 1.5/4 stars and said, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle offers everything – several bored Oscar winners; two scenes featuring death by meat grinder; Elton John, mugging in close-up – except a good time." Writing for RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny gave the film 0/4 stars, saying: "As action-packed as the movie is, it feels like it’s six hours. That’s in part because the pacing is so spavined; the movie lurches twitchily from set piece to set piece and spends inordinate amounts of time on shots of its sharp-dressed characters slow-motioning into the widescreen frames showing off accessories that will be sold to you by various companies in various Kingsman tie-ins all over the Internet." Caillou Pettis of the Daily Film Fix said about the film "With the absurdity level cranked up to maximum, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a wacky, and extremely fun thrill-ride that never halts on action, and its great humour. What is missing, however, is its character development with certain Statesman characters."
Sequel and spin-off
Vaughn revealed that he and Goldman have a third Kingsman film planned. In the September 2017 edition of Total Film, Vaughn revealed that his personal choice for the role of the villain of Kingsman 3 is Dwayne Johnson. Vaughn has also revealed that with the success of the Kingsman trilogy that he was interested in making a Statesman spin-off.
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