Regular listeners of the podcast know that RDT and I were both shocked and pleased at how much we enjoyed the first Kingsman movie. It had all the elements of a R rated James Bond Jr. with just enough kitsch and meta-ness to make it damn near perfect.
The story, if you don’t know, is that the UK has had a far more secret service than MI5 and MI6 protecting it and the world for centuries. Its positions are based on that of Arthurian lore with Arthur at the head of the Kingsmen and codenames like Lancelot and Galahad at his side. When one of the Kingsmen dies a new crop of recruits is brought in to compete to take his place. Most are ivy league students and athletes, but our hero is Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a street wise “Chav” who is also the son of a former Kingsman. What follows is your typical diamond in the rough story where Eggsy becomes the best man for the job, saves the Kingsmen, saves the world, avenges his dead mentor, and has sex with a Dutch politician in a very uncomfortable place (like the back of a Volkswagen) for saving said world. I mean this is based on a Mark Millar (Kick Ass, Wanted, The Authority) story after all.
The Golden Circle looks to pick up a little while after the events of the first movie. Eggsy is a full fledged Kingsman saving the world on the daily. I bet this movie even opens with the Bondian trope of the audience joining in on the tail end of a mission before the opening credits. Actually, you know what, instead of me speculating wildly about what will happen (which I know I excel at), why don’t we get into the actual trailer. So, let’s talk about the first Kingsman: The Golden Circle trailer:
- First I’d like to point out that this trailer actually has a green band on it and opens with the production cards. So many trailers today don’t do that. *Shakes cane at them from porch swing*.
- We get a short recap of the first film with voice over from the now dead Harry Hart/Galahad (Colin Firth).
- The voice over continues into the present day as Eggsy rolls up to the Kingsman tailor shop, which is the cover store to their secret London hideout, in a tricked out Alfa Romeo. Wow, typing that out it sounds soooo cheesy but it works in universe I promise.
- Eggsy enters the meeting room for the Kingsmen to most likely be briefed on his next mission. Roxy (Sophie Cookson) the female lead from the first movie is there wearing the trademark suit and glasses.
- We get a brief glimpse of Mark Strong‘s Merlin as he opens up a pool table to show an armory of weapons. The Kingsmen love their hidden weapon caches.
- They also love their gadgets. Who doesn’t? We see a London black cab turn into a submarine and dive into a hidden bunker base. This has some very classic Bond elements that are a lot of fun.
- Next we see that a missile has locked onto The Kingsman Estate (which is where the training occurred in the first movie). It is leveled into a smoking crater, killing anyone inside.
- “My Way” by Frank Sinatra begins to play.
- We see Eggsy standing in front of the now also decimated tailor shop. He’s in the rain with what looks to be Galahad’s umbrella. It would appear that someone has taken the Kingsmen out.
- Merlin has made it out alive! I really enjoyed Mark Strong’s stuff in the first one. Glad to see we’re getting more of his ruthless Q.
- Director Matthew Vaughn gets a title card reminding us he made the first one, but not any of the other movies he’s made.
- A sweeping shot of what looks to be a South American jungle is shown. I guess we’ll get a little more international than just London and the U.S. in this one.
- Eggsy and Agent Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), sporting a sick ‘stache, open the doors to some sort of bunker. I like that the American version of the Kinsmen, The Statesmen, have alcohol based names, but I would have prefered them to have been named after the founding fathers.
- We get some quick shots of some insane action back in London (maybe from that opening sequence I speculated about earlier) that is over the top in the best kind of way.
- A little sex appeal thrown in. Again to seemingly remind us that these movies are still more violent and racy than your typical James Bond affair.
- Eggsy winks and a *ding* hits. I almost get mad but at least it’s not a record scratch.
- The Statesmen offices are hidden in giant booze barrels. Because of course they are. Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) has a Statesmen branded flask belt buckle and can do some rifle tricks like a movie cowboy. Oh yeah, and a big old Stetson.
- In a very quick sequence it looks as though we get the old trope of the heroes fighting each other before teaming up. I would guess that after the Kingsmen are attacked, Eggsy and Merlin travel to the US to get the help of the Statesmen, but don’t/can’t tell them they’re coming. Wacky misunderstandings ensue.
- Back in the jungle locale we see Eggsy fighting a man with a robot arm (like the Winter Soldier but less polished). That arm can fire off the hand like a grappling hook though and it’s rad as hell.
- Agent Whiskey uses some sort of extendable bull whip which RDT and I were debating the use of when the poster hit last month.
- It wouldn’t be a super spy movie if there weren’t some sort of snowy mountainous sequence. In this one it looks as though someone has cut the line of the Gondola that Eggsy and Merlin are in. Will our heroes make it out alive? Yeah… probably.
- A quick montage of the star studded cast.
- That’s followed by more quick shots of the Statesmen doing cool cowboy/spy stuff. I guess you don’t get too much more American than old west cowboys, but I won’t lie that I’m a little bummed they aren’t more like their British counterparts. But it makes sense.
- Then the big reveal hits. Well, sadly it isn’t that big a reveal if you look at any of the press material. Colin Firth is returning for the sequel even though his character is dead. We see Harry Hart in what looks like a padded cell, with an eye patch, shaving. It’s still a pretty great reveal.
- Merlin and Eggsy can’t believe their eyes.
- Title and credit cards as My Way fades and we’re out.
Ok! So many questions after that last shot. Many answers of which can be assumed from looking a little deeper into it. It looks as though when Harry was shot in the head in the first movie it obviously took out his eye but also perhaps part of his brain. You can see on the walls of the cell there is a bunch of scrawled words and drawings. You know, crazy person stuff. The reason that Eggsy and Merlin are so astonished by Harry being alive (besides the obvious) is most likely because they watched him die via a live feed. I would guess that because he was killed on U.S. soil, after one of the most cartoonishly violent scenes I’ve ever seen, The Statesmen probably scooped him up but kept him a secret from the Kingsmen. Maybe he’s to stand trial for murdering like 50 racist church goers, even though he was being mind controlled by Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Maybe it’s to keep him safe. Maybe it’s just to keep everyone else safe from him. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Like I said before, I actually loved the first movie so it goes without saying I’m in for the sequel. And this looks like a good one at that, adding more to the mythos the first flick put in place and upping the ante on all the stuff we enjoyed the last time. Looking forward to seeing this opening weekend.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens in the States September 22nd, 2017.