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Kingsman The Golden Circle Review (2017) | A Huge Step Down

Kingsman The Golden Circle feels like a big step down if the prequel‘s whiff is still fresh in your mind. While thematically the plot kind of remains the same, and has that same old comic feel to it, Kingsman The Golden Circle stretches too much for a simple storyline. What makes matters worse is its sloth editing and the inclusion of dispensable bits that we all could have lived without. The movie compels you to shout “bullshit” at the screen on so many occasions that you end up feeling – “nothing feels right”.

If you are watching this movie for mere entertainment, it packs aplenty nevertheless. The action bit is outrageously dope. Humour goes great at times which makes the movie still very entertaining.

Bringing in Harry (Spoilers)

With Marv Films keen on taking this franchise out for a spin, it couldn’t have possibly lived without one of its lead characters. The precise reason why it decided to resurrect its dead. With Harry Hart (Colin Firth) back in action, the series wished to pick once again the crumbs that it had left with the first. But the way he has been brought in will try to once again reassure you that you have been watching a comic take shape all this time. What do you expect?

kingsman the golden circle movie

Plot of Kingsman The Golden Circle

The plot of Kingsman The Golden Circle is good actually but made absurd and ludicrous with many hard to digest things. Starts off and ends with an eye-popping spectacle but stretches pointlessly for so long, you start questioning the editing of the flick.

To begin with, we have Taron Egerton reprising his role as Eggsy. One year has passed since the prequel, and Eggsy has taken in the identity of his mentor Galahad and is living in with his girlfriend Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alstrom). We find an old colleague of his, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) attacking him in insane theatrics as Eggsy narrowly escapes leaving Charlie’s mechanical arm in the car which ends up hacking into the Kingsman servers. Missiles completely obliterate the headquarters of Kingsman leaving only Eggsy and Merlin in its wake.

We discover there is a secret drug cartel named The Golden Circle headed by Poppy played by Julianne Moore responsible for the onslaught.

Statesman

As part of their emergency protocol, the desperate duo then end up tracking Statesman, another secret intelligence Agency based in America headed by Champagne (Jeff Bridges). It is here they find Harry Hart alive and kicking, the only problem being – he has lost his memory, ooh, ooh, and an eye!

When one of Statesman’s agents Tequila (Channing Tatum) develops a weird blue rash on his face, Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) replaces him as a field agent.

Manners maketh man. Let me translate that for you.

It is later revealed that the blue rash is the first symptom to a sure shot death, and was actually Poppy’s plan to lure the US government into stopping the War on Drugs and ensuring full immunity for her cartel to run smoothly in exchange for the antidote. While the President of US (Bruce Greenwood) seemed to openly agree to Poppy’s terms he secretly decides to win the War on Drugs by letting all the drug consumers die by Poppy’s innate methods.

Eggsy and Whiskey together go on a mission to track Charlie’s ex where Eggsy successfully plants a tracker. Eggsy triggers Harry’s memories and helps him remember everything from the past. In a conversation to save his ex, Charlie gives away the main location of antidotes. Eggsy, along with Whiskey and Harry, go on a mission to retrieve a sample of the antidote. However, things go out of hand and their only sample breaks with the interception of The Golden Circle men. It is there, Harry shoots Whiskey acting on his instincts, believing Whiskey to be a double agent. Eggsy still goes on to save Whiskey assuming Harry to be loco, and still recuperating.

Taking The Golden Circle Down

Eggsy discovers his own girlfriend to be suffering from the toxin. On discovering the President’s intention to let the “using populace” wipe out on their own, Kingsman takes matters into their own hands. Alongside Merlin and Harry, Eggsy reaches Poppy’s Land in hopes to retrieve the remote control to release antidote drones, and save the world.

Eggsy makes a sloppy start, accidentally stepping on a land mine. Merlin sacrifices himself for Eggsy taking out a considerable chunk of The Golden Circle henchmen before exploding with them. Although you feel it could have been avoided if only Merlin could sit tight for the rest of the movie.

Kingsman The Golden Circle Harry and Eggsy

Eggsy and Harry then go on to eliminate the remaining men eventually leaving Poppy with her briefcase and the drone codes. Eggsy gives her a taste of her own medicine killing her in the process, before retrieving the password. Whiskey shows up as Eggsy realizes Harry was right all along. A theatrical fight ensues as Eggsy and Harry somehow manage to shove him down the meat grinder. Antidote drones are released and the world is saved.

Eggsy marries Tilde, Ginger Ale (Halle Barry) replaces Whiskey as a field agent and Tequila moves to London to work for Kingsman.

You can order Kingsman: The Golden Circle from here:

Humour and Plot Issues

Kingsman The Golden Circle tries to squeeze out humour by introducing Elton John. It is like a subplot that runs by being deliberately funny. Although it does manage to bring a smile to your face, running it for too long spoils the fun. Eventually, we see Elton breaking the fourth wall once again reminding us it was all a comic after all, and nothing should be taken seriously. The movie has plenty of such moments which fail to amuse you even though you could sense the director Matthew Vaughn planting them on purpose. For rest of the parts, the humour stays great, letting the movie stay delightful.

We’ve got brains, skills, skipping rope?

Amongst other issues, there is that apparent inability to part with your favorite characters. It is evident with its daft storyline that the writers/producers were keen on resuscitating the dead. Harry gets revived, but really at what cost?  They layer it with a new story making things look more garish than they already were. An unfathomable device to operate, really? If that were the case, every character in the franchise could be revived, and death would never be taken seriously.  If that weren’t enough they went an extra mile to redo that plot by playing it on Whiskey. The way his amnesic brain was activated ends up being worse than Harry’s. Totally dispensable!

The Final Verdict

Kingsman: The Golden Circle fails to be what it used to be owing to a haphazardly running plot. A ballsy move of letting the dead stay dead isn’t resorted to. Too many side plots running wild takes away all the seriousness from a good story away. Some of the characters are so dispensable you wonder why were they even there in the first place.

If you recall the good bits, they were all masoned in the fighting sequences of the flick. Pedro Pascal’s Whiskey was a badass fighter, and it’s great to see him in action twice. Both his seqs are dope!

The action and the lurid technology makes the movie fairly enjoyable, although you can’t say the same for its stretchy plot and editing.

Check out the trailer of Kingsman The Golden Circle here:

 

Transformers The Last Knight (2017) | Michael Bay’s Epic Failure

I went in with zero hopes to watch Transformers The Last Knight after being one of the victims to 2014’s epic debacle. I thought maybe Michael Bay might have learnt from his mistakes and upgraded himself even to a certain extent based on how bad the flick was. But I was dead wrong. I can’t believe how impossible it is for some people to change, or even try to bring in the winds of change.

Direction of Transformers The Last Knight

Michael Bay seems to have challenged himself on how bad he could go with the franchise and this is by far the worst. Transformers The Last Knight is all about Kabooms and twelve-year-old humour just like the last part was. The story is a complete dud trying its best to prod into our history to deliberately build up things that don’t make sense. And we come up with a nonsensical transforming jargon that has stopped to appear cool now. And Bumblebee fist bumping his chest has become so lame that it makes you want to abhor the guy who is even thinking stuff like that. I am going to just point all my fingers at our old friend Mikey here.

In a glint of seriousness, Michael Bay chooses to make a cheap shot at humour as if that’s what the audience was looking up to. To scathe the Merlin tale by choosing Stanley Tucci again in a different avatar, (oh! please he’s beginning to get on our nerves), is just outright pathetic.

still from transformers the last knight movie

Also, Bay decides to go with a sling at the father-daughter angle yet again by introducing Isabela Moner as Izabella into the tale. Her addition was like the most pointless thing ever. She doesn’t do anything in the entire flick. And is plainly there to remind Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) of how he used to be a father too.

The saddest thing probably is the number of times Optimus Prime reminds us of who he is.

I am Optimus Prime.

At one point you begin to wonder if he is indeed the smart ones in the whole Transformers unit.

Milked Enough?

Bay chooses to shoot the movie in all spheres from lithosphere to hydrosphere to atmosphere. You realize that and you know for certain that he must have come up with the idea when he couldn’t think of anything else. To make things more interesting of course. But that’s just as stupid as it sounds.

You can’t help but wonder if they will ever run out of stories to tell. But these stories have become so boring and monotonous that it’s pointless to even try. Every single movie we have seen the Transfomers talking about not coming back, or leaving for good but they always come back. Aarrrrgh……I think the transformers need to just really relax for good and leave us alone for a while.

Transformers The Last Knight like every other movie in the franchise is still miles away from ‘focus’. It is running forward with all the weird camera angles that Bay just loves to exploit.

I can’t believe why Mark Wahlberg has been still nodding to this franchise. Oh! Wait…the money. Almost forgot the fuel for every human being. That also explains why Bay can’t concentrate on his other projects like for instance last year’s 13 hours. It was pretty okay-ish if not good.

And why did Anthony Hopkins even sign up for this? That’s just too beneath him. His presence is pointless and he does all these pointless things that’s just hurtful to watch.

The Love Interest

It is funny how Bay never misses out on the spices that constitute his movie. It is like a formula he works upon in his lab where he always keeps the hotness quotient close by. This time playing the love interest of our protagonist is Laura Haddock who is every hot girl replacement ever. And you see, he chooses not to repeat these lovely ladies (except for Megan Fox) for the mere fact that audience would want something new. Hey! What about the protagonist?

Haddock is also primarily chosen so as to recreate that fun British-American cute rivalry so that people who haven’t somehow still heard such jokes a thousand times before could guffaw loudly in the theatre while you are trying to make sense of the flick.

You can watch it for the mere fact that you wish to stick loyal to the franchise if not to what Bay ended up making it. If not the story then at least the action would enthuse you.

You can order the movie from here:

Check out the trailer of Transformers The Last Knight here:

King Arthur Legend of the Sword Review (2017) | Choose to Take Away the Music

We were up for a bumpy ride already when we had discovered it was none other Guy Ritchie directing King Arthur Legend of the Sword movie. It would be safe to say that the flick has been Ritchie-fied enough, coz it has that tinge of Guy Ritchie effect that we have always thoroughly enjoyed. However, in delivering King Arthur to us, by passing it through the anvil of his eccentricity, the importance of the legend ends up getting ruffled, shaken up so much that it ends up becoming a gaudy affair.

The problem with King Arthur Legend of the Sword is that it is too fast-paced. So much that you wish there was a pause button for the big screen. Such pace isn’t really healthy if there’s a tale to be told. Legends work out great when there’s proper focus, when you are feeling every modicum of the thrill, and most importantly relating to stuff. Sadly with Ritchie behind the camera, it becomes hard to fill in the shoes of Arthur. You can hardly manage to relate to the actor, and whatever he does.

Despite that, there are so many other factors to consider here, for example, the extraordinary music composed by Daniel Pemberton that elevates the movie altogether. You go home with something at least, if not with that smug smile of satisfaction, then at least contented with that stunning outstanding score by Pemberton.

Direction of King Arthur (Spoilers)

Guy Ritchie thinks different. He isn’t the crowd. That’s one of the most crucial virtues he retains. To experiment every now and then, to come up with better shots, better ways of storytelling, and pulling off unusual stunts are things he just loves to do. I particularly love the way he edits his frames for humour. There is always a story being narrated in his flicks and it’s fun to catch up with what is going on.

But you take in too much of his style, you suddenly begin to see through his pattern. It is his regular mannerism of doing things. Like how a different frame starts, frames before the earlier scene is packed up. He does that too much in King Arthur Legend of the Sword, and it becomes outright absurd at one point.

Even normal collisions end up becoming too much layered up with visual effects. Generally, the boss fights are supposed to uplift the whole flick. But here the ending is more about visual effects than the actual fight. The worst thing is that you have to figure out that the sword could depict the future too. It’s hard to contain yourself from blurting out: “Really?”

still from king arthur legend of the sword movie

Choosing to show clashes with Excalibur in bullet time seemed plain stupid. Even though it is abounding with theatrics there, it doesn’t seem quite right. It almost meant any man with the sword could do it if he was connected to it with blood. Also, it sucks out the joy we expect in a punishing fight. It’s as if The Flash came out of nowhere and ended the war. So not cool!

Jude Law as Vortigern

Probably one of the best things in King Arthur Legend of the Sword is Jude Law. Not only is his acting top-notch, his role as the arrogant King Uncle is befitting as well. With Guy Ritchie providing him with some of the best theatrics ever, his perversion becomes insanely amplified altogether.

His Vortigern is a revolt for Hollywood that has produced cruel kings who are smug, stylish and outrageously wicked. He is the finest one of them all, and you can see that through via the confidence he brings to his act.

Watching him walking down in tears to sacrifice his own blood for power puts you in a strange sense of disposition. At one point he even cuts an ear off of Back Lack and speaks inside it for him to hear. Talk about badassery! Then there is that “walking down to meet the people”, style is written all over him.

You can order King Arthur Legend of the Sword from here:

Charlie Hunnam as Arthur

While this project saw a lot of casting choices, the decision to put Charlie Hunnam in the frontline wasn’t that bad after all. As an actor he is great, and he does enough justice to King Arthur. With a physique of a legendary hero wielding the Excalibur makes things a whole lot legendary.

Unfortunately, in the long line of memorable heroes, he ends up becoming a tad forgettable. And it’s not his fault at all. There wasn’t enough drama in the tale to actually feel for the protagonist. There wasn’t a proper pause so that you could really read his thoughts, and empathize with what he might be going through. I think it is quite bad for an actor to be forgotten when he is playing the lead role.

The Mage

The idea to turn the movie into a surreal magical phenomenon might not have sieved in and played well with the multitude. Well, even though magic is supposed to make things better, somehow the inclusion of the storyline about “mages” aren’t used aplenty. Their justification happens with the sword being magical, and that’s the sole purpose of them being there.

With The Mage played by Astrid Berges-Frisby trying to help Arthur in many ways, her inclusion ends up becoming the most dispensable thing in the flick. It’s almost as if she was only created out of thin air, just so as to stretch the movie for a plot. Whilst there wasn’t a single bit of romance lurking anywhere, her presence is strangely disappointing. We could have used her powers in so many ways, and yet all we did was to pull out a cheap magic trick for a cheap thrill.

Other Characters

A lot of characters are created alongside King Arthur by supporting actors like Djimon Honsou, Aidan Gillen, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Freddie Fox, Tom Wu, Michael McElhatton, Rob Knighton and Neil Maskell. With Aidan Gillen’s character Bill being good with the bow, you might remember him the most from all of the above. And maybe Neil’s Back Lack owing to that short father-son moment with Blue which is strangely poignant. The rest of the cast seem like a dispensable affair that was overlooked big time owing to shoehorning characters.

Eric Bana is in there, making a short stint as the father of King Arthur. He plays Uther and his cameo is as small as that of Igraine (Poppy Delevingne), Maggie (Annabelle Wallis), Elsa (Katie McGrath) and Catia (Millie Brady).

Can we even blame editing enough?

Au contraire, there’s a cameo of David Beckham that’s just hard to miss.

Ravishing Music

One of the best things about the movie is hands down its music. Daniel Pemberton…Ladies and gentlemen! If you never heard that name before time to put him on your top composers list. The chap’s a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated hero in the backdrop. He will set you up in the right mood with some deafening relentless composition. It’s so brilliantly done for the movie that I have put him on my playlist. He is really that good!

He will set you up in the right mood with some deafening relentless composition. It’s so brilliantly done for the movie that I have put him on my playlist as well. He is really that good!

I loved Growing Up Londinium, The Lady in the Lake and The Born King the most.

You can check out Growing Up Londinium here:

The Final Verdict

A lot of work has been put into making King Arthur Legend of the Sword, you can almost tell that by the quality of visual effects, the mind-boggling music the movie carries, and the beautiful engaged acting performed by the cast. You can sense that frustration if things don’t work out your way, and I can feel thousands of hearts breaking on realizing how the movie fared on its first day. But it’s a price an artist is and should be willing to pay when joining hands with big names.

The movie ends up becoming a farrago of revolution since Guy Ritchie isn’t comfortable to make time jumps. He chooses to fast forward the entire childhood, and King Arthur’s quest leaving out crucial drama often to actually feel, empathize or relate to any of its characters. And whatever happened to that classy humour from The Man from U. N. C. L. E.  or Snatch for that to matter?

The primal problem with the movie is its limited time which forced Guy Ritchie to scooch in things he could have shown properly if it were only a TV series. But didn’t we have Merlin already for that?

I say just take out the music, rejoice in it and remember it like there is a Guy Ritchie version of the legendary tale as well.

Check out the trailer of King Arthur Legend of the Sword here:

Justice League Dark (2017) | Batman’s Inclusion As Pointless As His Grunts

After seeing Justice League Dark I wasn’t surprised why the movie was chosen to hit videos instead of theaters. Magic is yet to find its place in the DC universe, even though Doctor Strange has achieved that so effortlessly without lifting a finger in Marvel. That too with a gargantuan theatrical venture. Justice League Dark only picks pace during its visceral ending where a good climax lurks, otherwise it stretches owing to its jaded plot and exhausting conversations.

Pages of Time

I was introduced to the world of Constantine by the Keanu Reeves movie first. I had heard about him before but with that infamous heroic act of his, a benchmark was set. Despite countless comics of the mouthy occult detective doing the rounds, the TV series was yet another area that had piqued my interest. Matt Ryan was a perfect pick but the story-line and the gravitas took a backseat there. He is badass! End of discussion. But the fact that DC always comes with flaky stories to bolster him, that’s what bothers me.

Even though Justice League Dark tried to show him in a cool heroic light, they tried to aggrandize him with that Justice League tag. As a result we have the World’s Greatest Detective Batman in the front-line. But given how he didn’t have a good plot to bite on, Batsy is left administering grim “Hmmmmm….” remarks which was supposed to be funny, but ends up becoming very irritating.

image of etrigan the demon in justice league dark movie

We get to see Etrigan the Demon origins here which was a good story per se. To cater its multiple plots Justice League Dark tried to run the Etrigan-Jason Blood plot parallel against the cardinal Ritchie Simpson and Felix Faust plot. It was good nevertheless and helped in giving the story a good side plot to bank on.

Theme of Justice League Dark

The main story starts off really well when humans all across the world begin to fall under the clutches of an incantation that forces upon them visions turning everyone into monsters. Justice League intervenes and tries to insinuate magic involvement which Batsy refuses to accept. At home, Deadman tries to overpower Batman, fails of course, but implies him to meet John Constantine.

To grab hold of him, Batman meets Zatanna only to find Constantine holed up in the House of Mystery. That’s where a team is formed to investigate the face behind all those mysterious worldly magical happenings. The team keeps expanding with the inclusion of Jason Blood who is looking for his Dreamstone, another subplot where we are told about Destiny a sinister magician’s fate.

It is up to the newly formed team then to find the root cause of the main problem, figure out and tackle paranormal and mystical inhibitions that come along their way and of course to win the occult war which the JL is incapable of winning by themselves.

You can buy Justice League: Dark here:

The Inevitable History

John Constantine is a notorious exorcist. Wherever he goes he has a history with someone. So to detour the story every time we are forced to go past a conversation where John doesn’t back down, and someone else is forced to intervene. We can see that happening with literally every character in the movie. At one point it becomes really exhausting.

All that magic puts Batman in really awkward shoes. You can’t help but feel sorry for him. Writers try really hard to still show him in a light that doesn’t degrade his awesomeness. At times they succeed, but really there are some instances that are downright vexing. Like how could a mortal like Bat sense the shrouds spirits of death around and say “Boo!” to them? And you can’t help but shake your head when they respond to that too. Batsy scares death! Newsflash!

The Final Verdict

If it weren’t for the final twist the movie carried nothing, and I mean nothing. There are conversations that bore you to death and magical fights that feel akin to a childish hocus-pocus. Apart from the out of the world feel that is hard to put a perspective to, Justice League Dark runs only because it had a curious flicker of a plot for its culmination point. That’s it.

Screenplay isn’t exciting either. At times made good by droll Constantine remarks, but that’s about it. You can still watch it if you are big Batsy fan and smirk at the thought of him playing second fiddle to a story that wasn’t his to run. Constantine fans are going to rejoice to find him do cool stuff, and own the show. Because primarily it is a Constantine movie and not what its misleading title says.

You can check out the trailer of Justice League Dark movie here: