'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' hits mark

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” was a fun flick, as far as sequels go. This engaging ride is a follow-up to “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2014). The film stays within its limitations and parameters and is not another stop in ‘Rountinesville, USA.’ 

Going back to 1989’s violent actioner “Lethal Weapon 2,” director Richard Donner created a formula that works wonders for a captive audience and delivered more of the same.

The plot twists in “The Kingsman:  The Golden Circle” are not in abundance but enough to keep the viewer interested in the story thanks to director Mathew Vaughnwho also called the shots on the original.

Returning to this fast-paced tale are Taron Egerton and Mark Strong. Collin Firth returns as Harry Hart, a character the audience thought died in the last entry. 

Egerton portrays Eggsy, Hart's choice to join the specialized group known as the Kingsman. Strong reprises his role as Merlin, a member who knows how everything works.

Also involved in the story are Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum.  Moore’s Poppy is the villain of the tale, a vindictive and arrogant person who adores everything from the 1950s and TV’s “Happy Days” yet peddles drugs wherever she chooses.  Berry’s character Ginger wants to be more active in the field rather than behind the desk. Tatum’s Tequila persona does not trust his British counterparts in the very least.        Director Vaughn manages to squeeze in some very cool plot twists and keeps in this entry from becoming mundane.  He re-visits bits of past dialogue while still managing to make the story fun.  The shootout sequences amaze via the well-done fight choreography.

Channing Tatum (Agent Tequila) in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

Channing Tatum (Agent Tequila) in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

British rocker Elton John makes an appearance in a part with substance.  He made a cameo appearance in 1997’s “Spice World,” but it added nothing to the movie.  John had a notable role in director Ken Russsell’s “Tommy” (1975), a rock opera by the super group The Who translated to the big screen. John was The Pinball Wizard, a character personified by his enormous boots and larger-than-life presence on the pinball machine.

Also amusing in this “Kingsman” tale is that all of the televisions are tuned in to a Fox affiliate station.  There are a variety of channels in the multiverse that is TV, but for some reason, everything goes back to Fox.

“Kingsman:  The Golden Circle” does what it’s supposed to do in presenting an engaging stand-alone story that also works as a new entry in a series that will hopefully continue by adding more chapters to the mix.