Kingsman: The Golden Circle: The End is Nigh
Reviewed by Mick Gastineau for TheHumbleHeckler.com.
(Editor’s note: Film critic Mick Gastineau is known to lapse into prolonged periods of extreme despair and anxiety. Keep this in mind when reading the following review.)
Well … it was bound to happen eventually. Director Matthew Vaughn has screwed us again.
Remember back in 2014, when the obnoxiously loud, aggressively stupid bloodbath known as Kingsman: The Secret Service was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public? I know I can’t forget it. Remember the clichéd characters, the preposterous-yet-predictable story, and the relentlessly superfluous violence? I’ve tried everything from hypnotherapy to smacking myself in the head with a ball peen hammer to forget. Remember the cheap anal sex jokes and the objectification of women for even cheaper laughs? I’m sure my sisters do. Remember the incessant product placement and how insulted you were by it? Like, for example, the dinner scene in which Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Firth have McDonald’s food served to them on a gleaming platter, and then the different sandwiches are actually pointed out and named on camera. (I was surprised that Ronald McDonald himself didn’t have a cameo in this scene.) Remember that crap? Huh? Do ya? Well, unfortunately, those were the good old days, because, believe it or not, Vaughn and company are back with a sequel that manages to sink to even greater levels of crapitude.
This time the Kingsman spread their particular brand of idiocy in America, because, you see, in a narrative innovation worthy of Joyce or Thackeray, the Kingsman’s base of operations is blasted to bits by a criminal organization called—you guessed it—The Golden Circle. Once in the Land of Liberty, this band of morons with big guns joins forces with the American version of the Kingsman, an organization called—get ready—the Statesman. Isn’t that clever? But wait, that’s nothing. Check this out: the Americans have amazingly clever names. Halle Berry plays a character called Ginger Ale, Channing Tatum is Tequila, and Jeff Bridges is Champagne. I’m not kidding. Be on the lookout for Elijah Wood as Sex on the Beach, John Goodman as Bud Weiser, and Charlie Hunnam as Jack Daniels With a Splash of Coke and a Wedge of Lime in the upcoming product placement bonanza/sequel Kingsman 3: The Golden Arches.
After sitting through this marathon of good-looking people in expensive clothing slaughtering hordes of other people in a CG orgy of balletic stunt work featuring buckets and buckets of gore and copious amounts of product placement less subtle than a Super Bowl commercial, I wasn’t sure how exactly to go on with my life. I mean, what’s the point? If Kingsman: The Golden Circle exists, then surely God does not. Why did I bother going to college or exercising regularly or watching what I eat if, at any time, I could end up in a movie theater watching something like this? Is this some kind of punishment? Did I die in my sleep and this movie is now my personal hell? Was I Hitler in a previous life or something? I just don’t get it. After watching this movie, the only thought I have is: Why? Why is this happening to me? To movie audiences? To the world? What have we done to deserve this? And what in the name of all that’s Holy and Good can we do to stop this from ever happening again?
The terrifying truth is … I don’t know. But I do know this: This movie broke me. I haven’t eaten in three days. I’m wearing adult diapers—or diaper, I haven’t changed the first one yet. I can’t think of a reason why I should. To be clear, I’m not the only person who feels this way. The guy sitting next to me pulled out almost all of his hair. The woman sitting directly behind me tried to slit her wrists with her movie ticket and cried herself to sleep when she failed. I overheard another woman say, “How do I explain this to my children?” Sadly, her question went unanswered. The Catholic church down the block from the theater was deluged with scared, confused visitors from my screening within minutes of the film’s end. As for me, for the first time since I was a child, I wept. I wept openly in public until my ribcage ached and my eyes turned as red as Satan’s sack.
And now, somehow, I must find the strength to go on.
I’ve decided to move to Montana. Maybe I’ll find a little cabin somewhere quiet and remote, somewhere where Matthew Vaughn can never hurt me again, somewhere where clunky expositional dialogue and lazy product placement doesn’t exist. Ah, heck, maybe I won’t find what I’m looking for, but, dammit, you can’t hit homeruns if you never swing for the fences. I’ll spend my days in quiet solitude, just me and Mother Nature and my new dog, Old Blue. It’ll be tough for a while. But nothing worth doin’ isn’t tough at the outset. As for the rest of you … well … I wish I had something more positive to pass along to ya’. Guess you’re all just gonna have to get up each morning, put one foot in front of the other, and do your best to forget and to move forward. Always remember that Matthew Vaughn only has power over you if you let him have it. So don’t let him. You hear me! Don’t You Dare Let Him!
I give Kingsman: The Golden Circle a dejected shake of the head, and I mourn the death of the world I knew before this abomination let loose its wrath.
(Kingsman: The Golden Circle is rated R for adult language, sexual situations, graphic violence, and for making me try to kill myself by shoving popcorn up my nose while questioning the necessity of my existence.)