Kingsman: The Golden Circle review roundup: 'Over-the-top' sequel is far from golden

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle hits theaters Friday, Sept. 22, and the reviews are pouring in.

The first film in the franchise, Kingsman: The Secret Service, a spy comedy based on the comic books by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, earned over $400 million worldwide and the general appreciation of critics as well. Can the sequel, starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Channing Tatum match the original? We rounded up some reviews across the internet to help you decide whether Kingsman: The Golden Circle will earn your eyeballs (and dollars) this weekend...

"It is all aggressively stylized, abusively fast-paced and ear-bleedingly loud, relying so heavily on CGI that nothing — not one thing — seems to correspond to the real world... It’s not like anyone has ever accused James Bond of being realistic, but the Kingsman series has gotten so outlandish that Moonraker suddenly looks plausible by comparison." - Peter Debruge, Variety

"When does a good thing become too much of a good thing? When is enough enough? That's the main question hovering over Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the spirited continuation of Matthew Vaughn's disarmingly clever 2015 introduction of the bespoke-suited British secret agent that, as with many successful series before it, has already begun to err on the side of overkill with an unnecessarily long 141 minutes. Still, this fleet-footed, glibly imaginative international romp stays on its toes and keeps its wits about it most of the time" - Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

"First things first. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not a good movie. Even approached with the watered-down expectations that one brings to a late-September Hollywood sequel, Matthew Vaughn’s bespoke secret-agent follow-up is massively disappointing. More than that, it’s dispiriting — a too campy, tonally schizophrenic barrage of idiotic plot twists, wasted star cameos, and over-the-top gags that aren’t nearly as entertaining as their creators think they are." - Chris Nashawaty, EW

"With Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Matthew Vaughn has once again tailored a film that’s an outlandish mix of over-the-top action, subversive social commentary, and oddly sweet character dynamics. As absurd, ultra-violent, and darkly humorous as it can get, The Golden Circle remembers that its heart and humor comes from remaining emotionally invested in its endearing protagonists." - Jim Vejvoda, IGN.com

"It’s got more stars, more set pieces, more … stuff. The garish violence is still there, as is the profanity. Gone, however, is much of the creativity, the unpredictable, see-what-sticks depravity. The movie has its moments, but the bloat and the blandness take their toll." - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

"If the Kingsman franchise is a one-trick pony, at least its one trick is a pretty good one. The Golden Circle is the kind of sequel that seems unlikely to win over anyone who hated the first one. If, on the other hand, you were a big fan of Kingsman: The Secret Service's cartoonish violence, bawdy humor, and overall 13-year-old-on-Pixy-Stix vibe – well, then, The Golden Circle will probably be for you." - Angie Han, Mashable

"As reality becomes so comical that it might be impossible to dramatize, it’s increasingly clear we’re all living in Matthew Vaughn’s nutty world, and he’s responded by doubling down on the camp, the violence, the gadgets, and even the cartoonish, yet prescient, commentary on hot button social issues. Thus here is a bigger and sillier movie, albeit one not nearly as clean and well-structured." - David Crow, Den of Geek

"Yet, for all that crazy fun, The Golden Circle doesn’t go wild enough to break Vaughn’s well-set mold, instead fitting neatly inside his filmography alongside other action-heavy offerings. It’s fun, but it’s blockbuster overkill after an already-crowded summer season." - Kate Erbland, Indie Wire

"Imagine you were 10-years-old and given five minutes to tear through a toy store. You’d sprint in, grab everything you wanted, and fall down from exhaustion at the end. It would be an amazing time, but with so much happening so fast, what would the real, lasting memory be? That experience, in movie form, is Kingsman: The Golden Circle." - Germain Lussier, io9

"This is a long, ugly, joyless movie." - Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

What do you think? Still planning on seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle this weekend after reading the reviews?

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