Of course, there were a few things I didn't like about this sequel. The first of these was that I felt that Merlin should have lived instead of Harry (played by Colin Firth). Merlin was a character that I was more interested in for the longevity of the series. And then (of course) I felt they killed off Roxy (a.k.a. Lancelot) in a manner that didn't speak to any of her contributions and hard-fought placement in the organization in the first show. It felt like they were trying to axe solid female characters and go with a "bro" organization.
The things that I did like about the show far outweighed any of my criticisms, however. Any scene with Elton John was pure gold, as the singer mostly poked fun at himself and took (with great stride I might add) the indignities that Poppy (Julianne Moore) inflicted upon his person. As an "over the top" villain, I appreciated the remote location of her world-ending drug operation from a volcano. Her dash of homesickness that led her to reconstruct a 1950's diner in this volcano and equip it with robot dogs and robot spa attendants was nothing short of brilliant (and just screamed "capable supervillain"). And I do like the gushing "Quentin Tarantino-esque" bits of gore from grinding people into meat to make hamburgers for the grill...to slicing them in half with an electrified whip. Those are things I lived for in this sequel.
The plot was pretty fantastic too. How could you go wrong with a main character that ends up becoming a prince at the end (and marrying a princess)? And the Statesman were every bit as cool as the Kingsmen ever were (with a decidedly American "hillbilly" flare).
One thing I noticed: There have been two movies within a month or so of each other that have featured (strongly) the song "Country Road" by John Denver. They are "Lucky Logan" and "Kingsman: the Golden Circle." Additionally, both movies starred Channing Tatum. I think that's one of those coincidences that you can't make up.
If you saw the movie this weekend, what did you think? I look forward to reading your comments.