January 2015 saw the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, which gave us a feel for what a James Bond movie would be like if it were directed by Quentin Tarantino. And what a success it was, becoming one of the biggest and most surprising hits of that year, and praised as the film that brought life back to the spy genre.
In a year that saw the release of Spectre, The Man from U.N.C.L.E and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, 2015 was considered by many moviegoers as the year of the spy film, and Kingsman: The Secret Service was definitely among the best.
This year director Matthew Vaughn returns to the franchise, directing his first sequel in the form of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Promising mind-blowing action sequences (and if it takes a page from the first film, then that means literally!), great characters and another satirical storyline, here’s why the movie should be at the top of your 2017 watch list.
1. Eggsy and Harry are back!
In the first movie it was incredibly entertaining to see Eggsy journey from young criminal to super spy, and we can’t wait to see him in his fully-fledged action hero form throughout the sequel. Not only is Eggsy back, though, but so is Harry Hart, played by none other than Colin Firth. What will be the reason why he comes back for part 2? Could he become part of the Kingsman again, or could he possibly be a baddie and try to wipe them out? Despite the fact we can’t imagine seeing the lovable Colin Firth turn evil, it would definitely make for an interesting storyline. (Actually, remember the church scene from the original?)
2. Brand new characters!
The old characters such as Eggsy, Roxy, Merlin and Harry will be joined by a fresh supporting cast. First up we have Magic Mike superstar Channing Tatum who will be playing a Statesman (the US counterpart to the British Kingsman spies) secret agent. If his action/comedy skills in the Jump Street films, where he plays undercover agent Jenko, is anything to go by, then we’re sure he’s going to blow us away.
He will be joined by Halle Berry, another Statesman secret agent named Ginger (random fact: she also played a character with the same name in 2001 cyber action thriller Swordfish), who along with recent Kingsman Lancelot, Roxy, should add some serious girl power to the film.
The head of this new Statesman service will be none other than Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, who we can’t wait to see again after his incredible turn in critically-acclaimed western Hell or High Water. And as if that wasn’t enough, we have musical legend Elton John making his acting debut. His role has been kept secretive, but if his acting is as good as his singing, then we’re most definitely in for a treat.
3. Julianne Moore is the villain!
After Samuel L. Jackson’s memorable performance as baddie Valentine in the first film, we expect to see a villain that matches or even exceeds that greatness. Have no fear, though, because in steps Poppy.
Whilst it's not the scariest villain name in the world she is a criminal mastermind as played by Oscar-winning Still Alice actress Julianne Moore. Julianne is one of the most versatile and brilliant actors in the biz, having stunned in the likes of Boogie Nights, Far From Heaven and The Kids Are All Right, so if anyone's got the range to make this character memorable and unpredictable, it's her.
4. Matthew Vaughn is back!
It is often claimed that sequels are never as good as the original. However, we don’t think this will apply to Kingsman: The Golden Circle since Matthew Vaughn, who made the first film and also terrific X-Men reboot First Class, is returning to direct.
Expect action sequences in the vein of the original movie – in other words, thunderously over-the-top yet insanely fun set-pieces mixed with satirical jokes that will keep you laughing along with the action. Also returning is screenwriter Jane Goldman, who collaborated with Vaughn to enormously successful effect on his irreverent 2010 superhero flick Kick-Ass starring recent Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson. With the original team back on board we're hoping that Kingsman: The Golden Circle will even be better than the first film.
5. The Kingsman are teaming up!
After the first film introduced us to fashionable British spy group Kingsman, the second promises to show these spies in their prime. However, they face their biggest challenge yet: working with a whole entire agency, including the US branch of the service, the aforementioned Statesman. In this film, they team up to take down the villainous Poppy once and for all.
So we all want Kingsman: The Golden Circle to top the first film, and based on the evidence here it most definitely looks like it will. Granted it would be a lot to top, but we’re sure Matthew Vaughn can do it. Join us for the film's release on 29th September 2016 and remember: manners maketh man!
Jake Gibbard is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.