Matthew Vaughn is a director that makes crowd pleasers and box office hits that also have a subversive edge and a bubbly spirit. Kick-Ass remains one of the best comic book movies because not only did it successfully achieve the heart and energy of the genre but also teased around with the tropes and clichés to become an R-Rated edgy criticism of the formula (but maintain ample amounts of affection). Kingsman: The Secret Service was a spy thriller version of Kick-Ass where it showed what James Bond would look like if it shed the innuendos for actual sexual language and revealed the graphic reality of the violence. It also revelled in it over-the-top extravagant violent action sequences to the point of being running gags and dark jokes (the church scene is still burned into my brain). It also had one of the best villains with a very atypical Samuel L. Jackson performance of the geeky Valentine.
The first trailer for Kingman: The Golden Circle shows what we all expected, Vaughn isn't coasting off the success of the sequel. The flair and energy and gorgeous set pieces are still ass intact. It looks like we have a fresh story rather than just the original redone. This time the headquarters have been blown up and now Eggsy heads to the States to get help from the American version of the secret service, The Statesman, Of course, they are cowboys, which means one them has to be Jeff Bridges, while we also get Channing Tatum and Halle Berry. The new trend for "irreverent movie" is to have trailers with jarring music like how Deadpool, Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy has classic rock, and this follows that trend (by using a different music genre) with "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, Except it works even better here and there is a poetry in the action coinciding with the beats of the song.
This hints at a pretty solid follow-up with most of the plot hidden and even the main baddie disguised, or at least I assume the guy with the iron yo-yo fist is a henchmen. There is one nagging problem and that is Colin Firth.
He was spectacular in the original and an obvious crowd favourite. Anyone who loved the movie was going to be a huge fan of his character. I realize most really hoped that he wasn't actually dead. But one of the things that I really loved about the original was how it was bold enough to kill off a crucial character and do it in such an out of the blue way. Nobody was expecting it, and it took a few scenes for it sink in, but when it was clear he was dead, it added huge dramatic depth to the movie and helped to further develop the character of Eggsy.
It took guts to kill off a popular lead character and helped make the movie stand out against Marvel franchises that just like to tease a death every movie. Now, that is all erased, because Firth has to be back now for the sequel. Maybe they will have a good explanation for his return, but for me, the movie loses some of it appeal by pulling a Nick Fury. Stick to your guns, keep crucial characters dead so that in future movies we really believe the stakes and think something bad can really happen to a pivotal character. Force Awakens did it, and now I don't think any character is safe for Last Jedi. Action sequences need to be more than just bang and booms, and a good story must always have consequences. That said, Firth will be awesome.