In descending order of awesomeness.
Last week came the ten second trailer trailer, and then Monday brought us the bonafide trailer for Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the somewhat anticipated (hey, let’s be honest here) follow-up to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, adapted from the The Secret Service limited comic book series, which answers a burning question you hadn’t thought to ask: “What if James Bond was a millennial?” The answer itself is not one that can be adequately summarized – it truly needs to be experienced – but suffice it to say it’s bloody good fun. Emphasis on the bloody. And the sass. A lot of sass too.
Anyway, the newly released trailer (trailers? Your mileage may vary as to whether or not the first one counts) lays out the plot of the upcoming film pretty clearly: the Kingsmen HQ gets blown up, leading the secret agents to seek the aid of their American counterparts, the Statesmen. Overall, the trailer gives us a glimpse of what appears to be a – potentially very enjoyable – hot mess, which is a lot less of a criticism than it sounds like. After all, the first one was kind of a hot mess, but in a fantastic, self-aware, walking-the-fine-line-between-ingenuity-and-stupidity sort of way. The sequel looks to be, as the Mad Hatter would say, “much muchier” than the first – potentially too much, though we will have to wait until September 22 to find out. Regardless, here are seven noteworthy elements of the released Kingsman: The Golden Circle footage, ranging from most to least awesome.
Julianne Moore is the New Face of Evil
Awesomeness Level: 11/10
One of the best things about Kingsman: The Secret Service was Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine, who managed to be both reminiscent of most every Bond villain ever and, in a sense, the antithesis of a typical super-villain, with his lisp and germ consciousness and hatred of blood. We don’t get much of a sense of his replacement, Julianne Moore’s Poppy, from this trailer, but it’s Julianne Moore, so if the writing is there, or even halfway there, she will pull it off. In an Empire interview, director Matthew Vaughn described Poppy as “America’s sweetheart gone wrong.” I have no idea what the hell that means, but sign me up.
Agent Tequila and Agent Whiskey
Awesomeness Score: Pretty Damn Awesome
Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal play two Statesmen agents known as Agent Tequila and Agent Whisky, respectively. From the glimpses we see of them in the trailer, they’ve got the moves to live up to their kick-ass names.
Jeff Bridges in a Cowboy Hat
Awesomeness Level: Mildly Awesome
Get out the White Russians and bowling shoes, it’s a Lebowski family reunion! It’s Jeff Bridges… and he’s in a cowboy hat, so you know what that means! *Grumble grumble mumble grumble mumble, grumble mumble grumble* (Translation: you probably won’t be able to understand a word he says, but boy does he look cool!)
Anyway, Bridges is here as Agent Champagne, or “Champ” (Am I the only one who sees a vague “Dude” connection here? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?), which continues the cool name theme about a little too far – it almost falls flat, one might say, the same way his namesake beverage does if left out too long.
Colin Firth’s Not Dead
Awesomeness Level: Kinda Cool But Cliché
Colin Firth’s Harry Hart needed to die for the sake of the plot in Kingsman: The Secret Service. But now that he no longer needs to be dead, he apparently isn’t. That said, he’s literally in a padded cell with the walls covered in scribbles, so he might not be quite the Harry Hart we remember…
Metal-Armed Muscle Man
Awesomeness Score: Meh.
Scary guy with a bionic ar – wait, the Winter Soldier?! …No? Oh, okay. I mean, even the brand name Winter Soldier wouldn’t match the metal limb badassery score of Gazelle’s sword legs. To be fair, though, sword legs are pretty hard to beat, so perhaps we just count this as a slight but pretty inevitable disappointment and move on.
Halle Berry in a Lab Coat
Awesomeness Score: Zzzzzz…
Berry apparently plays the Statesmen’s “tech guru” Ginger. Just in case you couldn’t tell she was supposed to be a Science Person from the lab coat, they added glasses, too. But who knows, she may be a great character – the trailer gives no indication.
Roxy’s Probably Dead
Awesomeness Score: Negative Infinity
Look at Eggsy’s face here. This is not a “they blew up HQ” reaction. That would be whistling-kettle-sound, steam-billowing-from-ears do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 straight to blinding fury. What we see here is standing tragically in the rain, listening to “The Drugs Don’t Work” on repeat unironically level heartbreak. That’s a “they blew up Roxy” reaction, not an “our tricked-out mansion is now a hole in the ground” reaction.
Look, I hope I’m wrong. But we get exactly one “see, she’s here!” shot of Roxy, when all is well in Kingsman-land and they aren’t well-dressed rebels without a home base yet, and then neither hide nor hair of her from any post-explosion footage. In which case, Eggsy and Merlin’s motivation becomes 20% Defeat Evil and 80% Avenge The Woman, a.k.a. the most tired trope in the action/adventure/thriller genres. Come on, guys. Do better.