Drink to that

Total Film - - Comic Book Preview -

‘i think it was kubrick who said you need Five wa­ter-cooler mo­ments For a hit Film, i al­ways try to put eight in’ matthew vaughn

back be­cause I was con­trac­tu­ally ob­li­gated to.”) “Com­ing from a Bond movie [2002’s Die An­other Day],

I was a lit­tle snobby about the first Kings­man,” ad­mits Halle Berry. “Like, ‘What are they do­ing here?’ But I was com­pletely blown away. When Matthew called me up, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.” Chan­ning Ta­tum de­scribes him­self as a “fan fan” of Kings­man, mar­vel­ling at its orig­i­nal­ity. Though the movie was rooted in a comic book – like the new film, it was adapted by Vaughn and co-writer Jane Gold­man from the Mark Miller/Dave Gib­bons se­ries The Se­cret Service – it stood out. “There were so many other comic-book movies and al­ready es­tab­lished IP around when the first Kings­man came out,” re­mem­bers Ta­tum. “And that film had such a new kind of voice, a new style. No­body knew what it was, then it be­came ev­ery­body’s favourite movie of the year.”

Pitch­ing in with equal en­thu­si­asm, Bridges says: “I’m big fan of movies where the di­rec­tor is kind of ahead of the au­di­ence. You just don’t know what to ex­pect. You saw the first one, I imag­ine? So when those heads…” he trails off into laugh­ter, say­ing all that needs to be said about one of the orig­i­nal movie’s messi­est mo­ments. It wasn’t the only jaw-drop­per. There was the church-blood­bath bit and, now per­haps even more con­tro­ver­sial, the anal-sex-gag bit. “I think it’s re­ally good to have mo­ments in cinema that some peo­ple love and some peo­ple hate,” con­sid­ers Vaughn. “I think it was Kubrick who said that you need five wa­ter-cooler mo­ments, and then you’ve got a hit film. So I al­ways try to put eight in, to make sure that at least five hap­pen!” Pressed for more de­tail, he re­sponds: “Yes, there are scenes [in The Golden Cir­cle] that peo­ple haven’t seen be­fore. But I’m not try­ing to com­pete with the church from the first one. I didn’t sit there and go, ‘OK, let’s think of an­other church-style se­quence.’ But yeah… there’s a few mo­ments peo­ple will def­i­nitely talk about.”

One of them be­ing a cli­mac­tic fight that, ac­cord­ing to Egerton, is “ev­ery bit as dy­namic and as dan­ger­ous” as the ear­lier un­holy show­down. But he agrees that Vaughn isn’t out to re­peat or outdo him­self. “I think to try to be big­ger and bet­ter in a com­pa­ra­ble way, in as shock­ing a lo­ca­tion as a church… I don’t think Matthew ever tried, be­cause he knew to at­tempt to do a steroided-up ver­sion of that se­quence would be des­tined to fail.”

The whole ques­tion of go­ing ‘big­ger’ in a se­quel is a com­plex one, says Vaughn (de­spite the fact Kings­man 2 will play in 3D and IMAX). “I think ‘big­ger’ means noth­ing, un­less the story needs to be big­ger,” he ar­gues. “But if the story doesn’t ask for it, the viewer will be like, ‘Well, I don’t care about this.’” He didn’t go into The Golden Cir­cle think­ing he had to su­per­size things, he ex­plains. All the same, the movie does look pretty epic. “Weirdly, it feels big­ger be­cause it’s a bit more in­ter­na­tional, and it’s got more movie stars in it,” he ar­gues. “But there’s some very big stuff go­ing on in the first one… that’s what peo­ple seem to for­get!”

There’s one hack­neyed ‘rule’ of se­quels the new film doesn’t stick to. “It’s def­i­nitely not darker. Dark­ness is not Kings­man. Kings­man is not a dark movie,” says Vaughn, mak­ing the point clear. “There’s more emo­tion in this, I would say.” He lists his own golden cir­cle of se­quels: The God­fa­ther: Part II, Aliens, The Em­pire Strikes Back... “I wouldn’t say those films got darker. They got more emo­tional. And that’s when se­quels work: when you’ve got char­ac­ters you want to see more of, and then you learn more about them,

and don’t just fol­low them on an in­ter­change­able mis­sion.”

The movie’s height­ened emo­tions are all to do with Eg­gsy get­ting caught in a work and life quandary. “I al­ways thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to see a spy fall in love and ex­plore how spies aren’t meant to do that,” teases Vaughn. “Then you have the con­flict of: do you fol­low your heart and be a vul­ner­a­ble spy? Or do you act like James Bond, where you’re not re­ally in the mood and don’t give a shit?” How much of a shit we’ll see Eg­gsy give re­mains to be seen; but Egerton does prom­ise that the heart of the film, the “great strug­gle”, is about “be­ing a nor­mal lad from Lon­don who wants to re­tain some­thing of him­self… while also hav­ing to go out and save the world”.

An­other ques­tion: who does Eg­gsy go gaga for? Is it cur­rent girl­friend Tilde? Or maybe fel­low agent – and BFF – Roxy (So­phie Cook­son)? Who­ever it is, we can ex­pect a charged mo­ment or two – take Egerton’s (cryp­tic) word for it. “There was one thing I wanted to see be­tween the char­ac­ters in the first one that you didn’t get… and you get it in this one. I’ll leave it at that.” And if the story doesn’t get you, the sound­track will; it seems ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is far from the only killer tune on of­fer.

“If you re­ally love mu­sic, if mu­sic is im­por­tant to you when hav­ing a movie ex­pe­ri­ence – well, in this movie, mu­sic is a char­ac­ter,” says Berry. “And I think that’ll speak to lots of peo­ple.”

For Firth, Vaughn’s use of mu­sic doesn’t just have you tap­ping your toes – it keeps you on them. “The com­pletely un­ex­pected mu­sic choices,” he says ad­mir­ingly. “Like in the trailer, with Frank Si­na­tra [‘My Way’]. You don’t see that com­ing. And there’s a lot of that go­ing on in this movie, where you think, ‘I know where this mo­ment is… oh.’ You think you’ve got a silly mo­ment, but then it turns poignant.” The art of sur­prise is a tough one, Firth says. “You can’t just make things go bang. You’ve got to set things up this way, then un­ex­pect­edly take it that way.” Hope­fully, though, Vaughn isn’t prac­tis­ing his mas­tery of mis­di­rec­tion with his last words to TF: “My prob­lem is, with so many movies I just go, ‘God was that worth buy­ing a ticket for? Not re­ally.’ But I think this is a re­ally fun, big ex­pe­ri­ence that’s worth see­ing in a cinema.” He pauses then adds, “I don’t hate the film, which is a good sign!”

Kings­man: the golden cir­cle opens on 20 septem­ber. Also join­ing the cast as States­men are Halle Berry as Agent Gin­ger Ale (above, with Mark Strong’s re­turn­ing Mer­lin) and Chan­ning Ta­tum (be­low left) as Agent Tequila.

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