Here it is then, the kick-ass sequel to the stylish hyperkinetic action spy-em-up Kingsman: The Secret Service. Leaping from the mind of comic book genius Mark Millar, the oh-so-British super spies are back to save the world and look very dapper while they do.
From the jaw-dropping opening – a full on action car chase through the streets of London at night - through to the insanely ultraviolent and suitably over the top climactic showdown, this is an action flick that really delivers.
Back - and now a fully-fledged Kingsman agent - is likeable teen ne'er-do-well turned gentleman spy Eggsy (Taron ‘Legend’ Egerton), when he’s ambushed by the robotic armed former Kingsman wannabe Charlie (Edward Holcroft) things go very wrong for the Kingsman organisation.
With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage by new big baddie Poppy Adams (the excellent Julianne Moore), whose HR selection process is to make her team kill, then eat, one of their friends, the remaining Kingsman agents call on their US counterparts the ‘Statesman’.
So we have Kingsman Quartermaster Merlin (Mark Strong), and if you’ve seen a poster or trailer it’s not a spoiler to let you know that the superb Harry (Colin Firth) is also back.
The Statesman agents who are named after drinks include lasso wielding Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), bad boy Tequila (Channing Tatum), weapons specialist Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) and boss Champagne (Jeff Bridges). These new heroes are fun addition and open the door to more international collaborative action in the future.
Also in the mix is Eggsy’s Royal girlfriend Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström) and her potential love rival Clara (Poppy Delevingne) who gets a questionably tasteless Glastonbury Festival scene. And then there’s Sir Elton John who plays himself and manages to be an absolute boss, stealing all his scenes.
Sure, if you’re easily offended by bad language, macho bravado or crunching violence, this isn’t the film for you. But for a feel-good adrenalin overload The Golden Circle out-Bonds James Bond at his own game and is more fun than all the Bourne films put together. The Kingsman franchise is the new golden (circle) standard for action spy adventures and sets the bar for all future efforts.