Kingsman: The Golden Circle
|Kingsman: The Golden Circle|
British theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matthew Vaughn|
|Based on||The Secret Service|
by Mark Millar
|Edited by||Eddie Hamilton|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$410.9 million|
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Jane Goldman and Vaughn. The second instalment in the Kingsman film series, it is a sequel to 2014's Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. The film features Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, and Sophie Cookson reprising their roles from the first film with Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Elton John, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges joining the cast. The film follows members of Kingsman needing to team up with their American counterpart, Statesman, after the world is held hostage by Poppy Adams and her drug cartel, "The Golden Circle".
Kingsman: The Golden Circle premiered in London on 18 September 2017 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 20 September 2017 in 3D and 2D and the United States on 22 September 2017 in IMAX, by 20th Century Fox. It grossed $410 million worldwide against a budget of $104 million and received mixed reviews from critics, with the film's long running time targeted for criticism and its new characters and stylized action garnering polarized responses, though the acting and humour were praised.
A prequel, The King's Man, is scheduled for release in the United States on 20 August 2021.
A year after defeating Richmond Valentine, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin has officially joined Kingsman, having taken his late mentor Harry Hart's position of Galahad as well as Harry's old house, and is dating Tilde, Crown Princess of Sweden, whom he saved from Valentine. On his way home from the tailor shop, he is ambushed by Charlie Hesketh, a rejected Kingsman applicant who lost his right arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident. Eggsy evades Charlie and his henchmen in a car chase across London, but Charlie's cybernetic arm, severed in the skirmish, hacks into the Kingsman servers through the computer in Eggsy's car. With the information thereby gained, Poppy Adams, the leader of the world's largest drug cartel, the Golden Circle, launches missiles that destroy Kingsman headquarters and kill all the agents in Britain, including Eggsy's best friend Roxy and his other friend Brandon, who was at Eggsy's house to look after his dog while Eggsy was away in Sweden with Tilde.
Eggsy and his only surviving colleague, Merlin, follow an emergency Doomsday Protocol, which leads them to Statesman, the American counterpart of Kingsman, which uses a Kentucky-based bourbon whiskey business as a front. There they discover that Harry survived his shooting by Valentine thanks to Statesman technology, but has amnesia that can be cured only by reliving a traumatic event. Statesman head Champagne offers the organization's support to bring down the Golden Circle. Statesman Agent Tequila develops a blue rash and shows signs of mania, ultimately being replaced by another agent, Whiskey, as Eggsy's partner. Eggsy plants a tracking device in Charlie's ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg during a sexual encounter at Glastonbury Festival, but is estranged from Tilde after telling her beforehand what he has to do.
Merlin attempts to cure Harry's amnesia by flooding his bedroom—mirroring an element of Kingsman agent training—but the exercise fails. Eggsy eventually succeeds by threatening to shoot a Cairn Terrier puppy that resembles Harry's late dog, Mr Pickle, causing Harry to remember the Kingsman selection exercise where one must shoot one's dog, wherein the gun contains a blank. During their next mission, Poppy broadcasts a message announcing she has added a toxin to all her drugs, which causes users to develop symptoms like Tequila's before succumbing to paralysis and, subsequently, death. She offers the antidote to the world if the President of the United States will end the war on drugs and grant her cartel immunity from prosecution. The President publicly negotiates, but secretly intends to let the infected die, as he is willing to eliminate all drug users and thus render Poppy's business useless. He quarantines many victims, including his chief of staff, in a stadium and leaves them there to die.
Harry, Eggsy, and Whiskey track Clara to a Golden Circle facility in Italy. Eggsy manages to steal a sample of the antidote, but Whiskey destroys it during an attack by the Golden Circle's henchmen, leading Harry to suspect him of being a traitor and breaking the sample on purpose. Harry shoots Whiskey in the head, but Eggsy, believing Harry to be delusional due to an incomplete recovery, saves him with the same technology that Statesman used to save Harry. Charlie kills Clara by destroying the facility to prevent any more samples from being taken and leave no traces behind. Tilde calls Eggsy in a manic state, showing she has symptoms as a result of smoking cannabis in a fit of depression. Eggsy, Harry and Merlin discover the location of Poppy's hideout in Cambodia, "Poppy Land," and fly there.
While reconnoitring Poppy Land, Eggsy steps on a land mine, but Merlin sacrifices himself to save him and Harry while taking out a squad of Poppy's guards and singing his favourite John Denver song at the same time. A vengeful Eggsy and Harry storm through the lair as they kill all the guards they meet; Eggsy fights and kills Charlie as revenge for his fallen comrades, while Harry destroys Poppy's robotic attack dogs (called "Bennie" and "Jet") with the help of Elton John, whom Poppy had kidnapped during Valentine's attack and forced to sing for her. They secure the laptop controlling the drones that can deliver the antidote worldwide and inject Poppy with a concentrated dose of her toxin and heroin to dull her senses and let her guard down. A delirious Poppy gives them the laptop password for the antidote but dies from an accidental overdose. Whiskey interrupts them before they can deploy the drones, revealing that his pregnant wife was killed in a robbery committed by two methamphetamine users years ago, which caused him to develop a personal vendetta against all drug users and wants them to die. A furious fight breaks out, ending with Harry and Eggsy dropping Whiskey into Poppy's meat grinder. They then activate the drones, delivering the antidote worldwide.
In the aftermath, the President is impeached and arrested for conspiring to let the victims die, and Statesman purchases a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild Kingsman. Statesman tech support specialist Ginger Ale is appointed the new Agent Whiskey, Eggsy marries Tilde, and a cured Tequila joins Kingsman, which acquires a new tailor shop in London.
- Colin Firth as Harry Hart / Galahad Sr.
- Julianne Moore as Poppy Adams
- Taron Egerton as Gary "Eggsy" Unwin / Galahad Jr.
- Mark Strong as Hamish Mycroft / Merlin
- Halle Berry as Ginger Ale
- Pedro Pascal as Jack Daniels / Agent Whiskey
- Elton John as Elton John
- Channing Tatum as Agent Tequila
- Jeff Bridges as Champagne "Champ"
- Edward Holcroft as Charles "Charlie" Hesketh
- Hanna Alström as Tilde, Crown Princess of Sweden
- Bruce Greenwood as the President of the United States
- Emily Watson as Chief of Staff Fox
- Sophie Cookson as Roxanne "Roxy" Morton / Lancelot
- Michael Gambon as Arthur
Flashback footage from The Secret Service includes Samuel L. Jackson and Sofia Boutella as Richmond Valentine and Gazelle, respectively. Tobias Bakare and Theo Barklem-Biggs return as Eggsy's friends Jamal and Ryan, with Thomas Turgoose and Calvin Demba introduced as two of Eggsy's other friends, Liam and Brandon. Furthermore, Samantha Womack makes a brief return appearance as Michelle Unwin, Eggsy's mother. Additionally, Poppy Delevingne portrays Clara Von Gluckfberg, Charlie's ex-girlfriend whom Eggsy meets; Keith Allen and Tom Benedict Knight feature as Charles and Angel, two of Poppy's henchmen; Björn Granath (in his final film performance) and Lena Endre feature as the King and Queen of Sweden, respectively; James Caroll Jordan appears as Guy Clark, one of Poppy's professors at Harvard University; and Mark Arnold portrays General McCoy, an advisor to the president of the United States. Shannon Bream and Bill Hemmer of Fox News appear as themselves.
Near the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn said a sequel would be possible if the first film was to perform well at the box office, and Vaughn expressed interest in returning to direct. Vaughn also noted that he had hoped to have Firth back in the sequel, though it was later stated that Firth would not be returning.
On 29 April 2015, Fox announced that a sequel was in production, but that it was unclear if Vaughn would return due to his interest in directing a Flash Gordon film. On 11 June 2015, Vaughn told Yahoo that he had begun writing the script for the sequel, and that he could return to direct. In September 2015, Millar reiterated that the sequel was in development and that Vaughn was looking for ways to bring Firth back without sacrificing the integrity of the story. Later that month, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Egerton had also signed on for a new Robin Hood film, which was then set to begin shooting in February 2016; Egerton's schedule was thus in conflict with the Kingsman sequel. However, in mid-October, it was confirmed that scheduling issues had been settled between both studios. Lionsgate began Robin Hood's production right after Egerton wrapped filming on Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which began in May 2016.
On 17 February 2016, it was revealed that Julianne Moore was in negotiations to play the villain in the film. On 10 March 2016, Halle Berry was cast in the film, in a role that later turned out to be the Statesman's tech support. In late March, Vaughn confirmed Berry's and Moore's casting, as well as the title, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. On 8 April 2016, Pedro Pascal was cast in the film as Jack Daniels, and on the same day, a promotional poster was released featuring Firth's character's glasses, confirming Firth's return for the film; Firth's return was later officially confirmed on 11 July 2016. Channing Tatum confirmed his casting through his Twitter account, while Variety reported that Elton John was in talks for a role. (John would later be portrayed by co-star Egerton in 2019 movie Rocketman.) In late April, Vaughn talked about writing the sequel, and stated "writing this was the hardest thing I've ever done." Jeff Bridges was added to the cast on 28 May 2016. Vinnie Jones announced on Twitter that he had been cast, though he did not appear in the finished film.
Principal photography on the film began on 15 May 2016 in Birmingham. Filming also took place in Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. The cable car and antidote factory scenes were shot on Skyway Monte Bianco and Pointe Helbronner, located in Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, in northern Italy and Sri Lanka. On 13 September 2016, Kingsman: The Golden Circle completed initial filming. Additional footage was filmed on location in London in December 2016.
Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson reunited to compose the music for the film. The soundtrack was released on iTunes on 22 September 2017 by Fox Music and was released on CD in October 2017 by La-La Land Records.
20th Century Fox originally scheduled Kingsman: The Golden Circle for a summer release date of 16 June 2017 but pushed the film back to 6 October 2017. The film was then moved up to 20 September in the United Kingdom and 22 September 2017 in the United States likely to avoid competition with Blade Runner 2049. The film had an IMAX release.
On 20 July 2017, Fox released an animated Kingsman/Archer crossover short film featuring Eggsy and Sterling Archer. On 18 September, Fox released a TV advert featuring a mock Kingsman board game.
The beige bomber jacket for Channing Tatum's character and a shearling coat worn by Colin Firth's Harry Hart were tailored by Cromford Leather, a UK designer brand and maker of luxury leather clothing. In May 2017, TAG Heuer partnered with Fox to make the TAG Heuer Connected the official watch of the Kingsman agents. In August 2017, Fox partnered with Old Forester to release a Statesman edition of their 95 proof Bourbon whisky for the U.S. market. In addition, GlenDronach released a Kingsman Edition 1991 of their scotch whisky. Director Vaughn cited GlenDronach as his favourite scotch whisky brand, and the distillery used casks from 1991, as it is the fictional year of Eggsy's birth. Only 240 bottles have been allocated to the U.S. market, all of which are signed by Vaughn. In addition, Berry Bros. & Rudd released a Kingsman edition of their No. 3 London Dry Gin. In September 2017, Hard Rock Cafe introduced the "Poppy Burger" in their menu to promote the film.
On 8 September 2017, luxury retailer Mr Porter opened its first Kingsman shop between Berry Bros. & Rudd and Lock & Co. Hatters on St James's Street in Central London. Both the Kingsman shop and Berry Bros. & Rudd were integral locations for this film, while Lock & Co. was featured in the first film.
In collaboration with German cosmetic line ARTDECO, ex-model and producer Claudia Schiffer unveiled the Claudia Schiffer Makeup line which featured two products inspired by the film—a 'Poppyland' lipstick and a 'Kingsman' nail polish. Additionally, products from that range were used for Poppy's Salon in the film.
In August 2017, it was confirmed that Kingsman: The Golden Circle would have a tie-in game to accompany its release, and that it would be a turn-based match-3 role-playing combat game, released on iOS and Android by the Korean mobile game company NHN PixelCube. The game also includes characters from Kingsman: The Secret Service, and was released globally on 14 September 2017, about a week before the film's release. Unlike the films, the game does not have graphic violence or explicit language, but it is classified a "12+" rating for "mild realistic violence". In the days before the film's release, another mobile game based on the Kingsman franchise, simply titled Kingsman: The Secret Service, was announced to be in development also for iOS and Android, by American mobile game developer YesGnome. The game is a hybrid action adventure-construction simulator, where players construct impregnable secret bases, similar to Fallout Shelter, while infiltrating enemy bases in run-and-gun missions based on the plot of at least the first film. The Android version remained in early access for many months. The Golden Circle is free-to-play, offers in-app purchases, and supports online player-versus-player multiplayer, while The Secret Service is sold as a paid game.
Several months later after the launch of the tie-in mobile game for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, on 24 April 2018, it was announced that the game's servers will be shut down on 23 May 2018, after "careful consideration" and the game's poor player base. Meanwhile, after many months in early access, Yesgnome's Kingsman: The Secret Service was finally released on 1 May 2019.
The film was released on Blu-ray on 12 December 2017 and DVD. A Target exclusive gift set includes four whiskey stones. The Walmart exclusive gift set comes with a Funko Pocket Pop! Eggsy keychain. A limited-edition steelbook packaging is available exclusively at Best Buy in the U.S., HMV in the UK, and JB Hi-Fi in Australia.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle grossed $100.2 million in the United States and Canada and $310.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $410.9 million, against a production budget of $104 million.
In North America, the film was released alongside The Lego Ninjago Movie and Friend Request and was projected to gross $40–45 million from 4,003 theatres in its opening weekend. It made $3.4 million from Thursday night previews at 3,100 theatres up from the $1.4 million made by the first film and $15.3 million on its first day. It went on to open to $39 million, an increase over the first film's $36.2 million debuts and topping the box office, overtaking two-time defender It. In its second week, the film initially made a projected gross of $17 million, finishing second at the box office behind It. However, the following day, actual results had the film finishing atop It by a gross of $16.93 million to $16.90 million and also beat out newcomer American Made ($16.8 million). The film made $8.7 million and $5.3 million in its third and fourth weeks, finishing 5th and 7th, respectively. The film dropped 47% in its fifth weekend, making $5.7 million and falling to 5th.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle received mixed reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 51% based on reviews from 306 critics, with an average rating of 5.40/10. The website's critical consensus reads "Kingsman: The Golden Circle offers more of everything that made its predecessor so much fun but lacks the original's wild creative spark". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 44 out of 100, based on 44 critics indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by its predecessor.
Writing for Uproxx, Amy Nicholson called the film better than the first and wrote: "Kingsman: The Golden Circle has matured just enough. It's doubled down on the mayhem and hammered out the tone. Everything is sincere even when it's insane". Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4 and wrote:
The stunts defy the laws of gravity but are no less fun for that; watch out for the fight on the ski lift. Even when Kingsman: The Golden Circle goes off the rails and it inevitably does, this cracked caper wears you down with action and giggles. Sometimes overkill can hurt so good.
Christopher Orr from The Atlantic said in his review "The movie is too long, too violent, too silly—too everything. Yet for those who enjoyed the original Kingsman, it is a more than adequate second act. To put it another way: First time satire, second time farce".
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 1.5 stars and said "Kingsman: The Golden Circle offers everything—several bored Oscar winners; two scenes featuring death by meat grinder; Elton John, mugging in close-up—except a good time". Wendy Ide, reviewing the film for The Guardian, gave it 1 star and called it "a knowing sneer of a movie that shrugs off its plot holes along with a particularly unsavoury attitude to violence and a tendency to use female characters as the decorative punchline to jokes". Writing for RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny gave the film 0 out of 4 and wrote: "As action-packed as the movie is, it feels like it's six hours. That's in part because the pacing is so spavined; the movie lurches twitchily from set piece to set piece and spends inordinate amounts of time on shots of its sharp-dressed characters slow-motioning into the widescreen frames showing off accessories that will be sold to you by various companies in various Kingsman tie-ins all over the Internet."
This film won the Empire Award for Best Thriller presented on 18 March 2018 at the 23rd Empire Awards. It was also nominated for a Saturn Awards at the 44th Saturn Awards announced 27 June 2018 in the category Saturn Award for Best Action or Adventure Film.
Sequel and prequel
Vaughn has stated that he and Goldman have a third Kingsman film planned. Although Vaughn initially suggested the series would be a trilogy, Mark Millar later confirmed at least two more films were in development. In December 2017, Vaughn provided insight into his plans for the untitled third film. He confirmed there would be one "massive" new addition to the cast, though he has not decided who would play the role yet. In March 2018, Vaughn confirmed he was still working on the script for the third film. Although he did not reveal any new plot details, he said he has something big planned for it. In another interview, he teased the possible return of Mark Strong's Merlin, but did not confirm or deny the rumours. Vaughn revealed to Empire that he's planning a Kingsman movie which would cap-off the "Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship" trilogy. In May 2019, Vaughn told Digital Spy in an interview that "Kingsman 3" would be the final chapter of Hart and Eggsy.
A prequel to the franchise, The King's Man is scheduled for release on August 20, 2021. On 9 November 2018, Egerton confirmed he would not appear for the prequel; however, he would still portray the character in future instalments, saying "I don't know how hot off the press this is, and I think I'm allowed to say it, but I'm not in the next Kingsman movie. That doesn't mean I won't be in Kingsman ever again. I was with Matthew Vaughn as little as a few days ago, we're still very much in business together, but his next journey in that world doesn't involve me." Before adding "His idea for the new one is incredibly exciting," Egerton continued. "I'm sad that I won't be on that journey with him but it's not the last you've seen of Eggsy." In the September 2020 issue of Empire, the film was confirmed to be titled Kingsman: The Blue Blood.
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