The opening scene of the super spy flick Kingsman: The Golden Circle is action-packed, really cool, and patently ridiculous.  This sets the pattern for the whole film.

Pro – Great action

The action sequences in Kingsman: The Golden Circle are fantastic. Right from the start, the set pieces are innovative, original, and well shot. The afore-mentioned opening scene has a great car chase with as much breakneck action happening in the car as outside it. As with all good spy movies, the gadgets just add to the mix. Electric whips, bulletproof umbrellas, and designer briefcase machine guns all enhance the fun. Of special note is the final “fight” scene, which has some amazing choreography and camera work. Every once in a while, the rough edges of CGI are visible, but not enough to knock the viewer out of the film.

Pro – Kool

Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes the Bond formula and updates it to ultra-cool in 2017. No disrespect to Daniel Craig’s Bond, but Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is younger, more hip, and more in tune with the times. The film takes that youthful charm and then borrows heavily from its predecessors. Futuristic gadgets, transforming cars, and secret lairs are the order of the day, as is jet setting across the world to various exotic locales. The cast is outstanding and adds to the cool factor of the film. It’s a loaded cast, and feels much more like a July release rather than a September one.

One small issue here, though. A marquee actor you expect from the commercials is in it a lot less than an elderly rock star you don’t. That’s certainly disappointing.

Con – Ridiculous

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a ridiculous movie. For those things within the context and logic of the films’ world, that’s okay and it works. Bionic arms, robotic dogs, and “brain gel” that helps to bring a character back are all fine. Ditto the remote secret lair built to look like 1950s America. Yes, this stuff is ridiculous, but they are the tropes we expect and even enjoy in the super spy genre.

On the other hand, director Matthew Vaughn seems intent on putting goofy or even shocking stuff into his movies just to get a reaction. This seems to be when he is the most confused by whether he’s doing an homage or spoof of super spy movies. I love James Bond and I love Austin Powers, but the middle ground is not somewhere good to be. The movie is cool, but then the American Statesman base is shaped like a whiskey bottle. The movie is exciting, but then the main villain’s weapon of choice is an industrial kitchen meat grinder. The movie is fun, but then it has a disturbing, graphic, and totally unnecessary scene at a music festival. Those things really hold the franchise back from being great, and I don’t understand why they are in there.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is so close to being an awesome spy movie, but like its predecessor, it just gets in its own way.