Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Colin Firth and friends ex­plain why the se­quel will make your brain ex­plode. You won’t even feel it, prom­ise.

MOST DI­REC­TORS, WHEN they’re talk­ing about sequels, tend to go for the ob­vi­ous plat­i­tudes: big­ger, bet­ter, faster, stronger, ex­plodier. Not Matthew Vaughn. When he was mak­ing Kingsman: The Golden Cir­cle, the fol­low-up to 2014’s au­da­cious, hi­lar­i­ous and but­ton-push­ing spy ca­per Kingsman: The Se­cret Ser­vice, he had a mantra in mind. “If you didn’t like the first movie, you’ll fuck­ing hate this one,” he laughs. “I’ve made this for peo­ple who liked the first film.”

Which means they should love this one. And while Vaughn wasn’t phys­i­cally present at Comic-con this year, there was plenty of ev­i­dence in the footage that his all-star, mostly Os­car­win­ning cast brought with them to sug­gest

Golden Cir­cle isn’t play­ing it safe, from a glo­ri­ously in­ven­tive, break­neck car chase-cum-fight scene to evil hench­men be­ing turned into burg­ers. “It has ev­ery­thing the first one does, but cranked up,” says Taron Eger­ton, who re­turns as Eg­gsy, the street kid-turned-gen­tle­man spy. “Matthew loves to sur­prise. He re­ally loves to piss peo­ple off as well. If every­one goes, ‘Matthew, you can’t do that,’ he goes, ‘Well, I def­i­nitely am.’ It’s re­ally naughty.”

The movie sees Eg­gsy and Mark Strong’s Mer­lin go on the run af­ter the Kingsman or­gan­i­sa­tion is tar­geted by Moore’s mys­te­ri­ous vil­lain. Their jour­neys take them to Ken­tucky, where they hap­pen upon a larger, bet­ter-funded sis­ter or­gan­i­sa­tion, States­man, and its chief agents, Te­quila (Chan­ning Ta­tum), Whiskey (Pe­dro Pas­cal), Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) and Cham­pagne (Jeff Bridges). And, along the way, they hap­pen upon Harry Hart (Colin Firth), Eg­gsy’s men­tor, who seem­ingly died in the first movie. While Firth, whose pres­ence in the movie was so un­der wraps

that he ap­peared on call sheets as ‘Ben Brad­dock’, still can’t talk about the cir­cum­stances of the now one-eyed Harry’s re­turn, he can ru­mi­nate on how Vaughn ap­proaches build­ing a se­quel that seems set to con­stantly sur­prise. “There’s a ramp­ing up, but I think Matthew knows when to pull back and where the edge is,” he says. “You can blow it re­ally eas­ily. You just don’t do it blood­ier, or louder, you do it by cre­at­ing an ex­pec­ta­tion and sub­vert­ing it.” So what of the peo­ple who didn’t like the first movie; who were baf­fled by ex­plod­ing heads set to El­gar, shocked by its church mas­sacre, and ap­palled by its clos­ing anal sex joke? What’s go­ing to grind their gears this time? “There are so many things we’re not sup­posed to talk about,” muses Bridges. “But there’s a won­der­ful fin­ger­ing scene. I haven’t used that word, ‘fin­ger­ing’, since high school. It’s won­der­ful to have that back.” May­hem, hu­man burg­ers and a spot of fin­ger­ing? That oughta do it.



Clock­wise from left: At your ser­vice, Colin Firth, Taron Eger­ton and Jeff Bridges; Chan­ning Ta­tum, Halle Berry and Pe­dro Pas­cal; Ju­lianne Moore plays Vaughn’s lat­est vil­lain, Poppy.

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