A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to 2014's popular Kingsman: The Secret Service. Like the first one, it's an extremely violent, over-the-top action movie with comedy elements. This time around, though, there's a bit more empathy, and more value is placed on human life. Intense action violence includes tons of gun use/shooting, martial arts fighting, punching, kicking, knives/stabbing, explosions, car chases, blood spurts, dead bodies, and much more. Language is also strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. On the sex front, there's a scene in which a woman offers to let a man pee on her; he then inserts his fingers (and a tracking device) under her panties and -- it's implied -- inside her. The main villain is a drug dealer, and all drug users are threatened with death. Pot and meth are seen, and there's plenty of social drinking, sometimes to excess. Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, and Taron Egerton co-star.
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What's the story?
In KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is attacked by a former trainee who manages to steal the Kingsman agency's secrets. Soon, missiles appear out of nowhere and destroy all their hideouts -- and most of the group's agents, as well. Only Eggsy, who was dining with his girlfriend, Princess Tilde (Hanna Alstrom), and her parents, and Merlin (Mark Strong) survive. A doomsday directive points them to the United States and the Kentucky stronghold of the Statesman, the American branch of the super-secret spy network, which is led by Champagne, aka "Champ" (Jeff Bridges). Eggsy and Merlin learn that the evil Poppy (Julianne Moore), who controls all of the illegal drugs in the world, has set out to kill all her customers via a deadly virus. Symptoms begin with a blue rash. Poppy's demand is the end of the war on drugs -- and if the U.S. president complies, she'll release the antidote to the virus. But when Princess Tilde comes down with the blue rash, Eggsy knows he must save the world in order to save her.
Is it any good?
This sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service has just as much slick, inventive, crazy action and is just as much fun. But while it's equally violent, it also shows far more empathy toward human loss. Matthew Vaughn returns to the director's chair, co-writing the screenplay with Jane Goldman; though their story is convoluted and slightly insane, it more or less sticks together and follows a pleasing flow. It even manages a sly bit of political commentary on the "war on drugs." Set pieces, including a runaway gondola lift and Poppy's 1950s-inspired hideout, are outrageously cool.
Vaughn's direction is the opposite of Hollywood's usual shaky-cam tendencies; it's graceful and fluid, with dance-like movement in the heat of battle. In the previous movie, scenes involving the brutal deaths of dozens of people were played for laughs and entertainment. But in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, loss/death carries a heavier weight. There's now time to react and mourn, which serves to make the characters more emotional and more appealing. Indeed, one of the movie's most welcome themes is that life is more valuable if you have something to lose.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Kingsman: The Golden Circle's violence. Does its over-the-top nature lessen its impact? Or does the sheer volume make it impossible to ignore? How do the consequences compare to those in movies with more realistic violence?
Do you consider Eggsy a role model? What is he fighting for? Does he pursue revenge?
How does this sequel compare to the original? What's at stake? What are the consequences?
- In theaters: September 22, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: December 12, 2017
- Cast: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
- Director: Matthew Vaughn
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 141 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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