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Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Roundly Entertaining. [MOVIE REVIEW]

In 2014, Kingsman: The Secret Service introduced filmgoers to the international intelligence agency operating at the highest levels of diplomatic, scholarly, and gentlemanly behavior with the ultimate goal of keeping the world safe.

In the 2017 version, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the heroes from the first film (Taron Egerton as Eggsy; Colin Firth is Harry Hart; Michael Strong plays Merlin) face a new challenge with a drug kingpin (Julianne Moore) set on not only manufacturing and selling her products, she wants them as socially acceptable as alcohol. She gets the Kingsman’s attention by destroying their headquarters and targeting their leadership. To bring the villain down, the Kingsman team up with a previously unknown to them American operation called the Statesman, an old, well respected whisky making organization with Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, and Halle Berry playing operatives. They have their own agenda but agree with the Kingsman that the dealer must be dealt with quickly and severely.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle thoroughly entertains and it’s a See It!

It follows some of the tried and true techniques for action films, like beginning with an intense, theatrical battle. Despite a vicious fight with multiple, likely bone crushing blows landing to his body and face, Eggsy goes unmarked and his perfectly fitting suit, untarnished.

Also, there’s plenty of split-second lifesaving events and, technology, like vicious mechanical dogs.

The film also raises such questions as: would ground up human beings look like ground beef? Would America have a dishonest man as president?

As to the cast, the performances are fittingly appropriate. None of the roles require any great acting range.

When the Kingsman travels to Kentucky to meet the Statesman, the background music is Take Me Home Country Roads which is actually about West Virginia. But I guess to the British - Kentucky, West Virginia – what’s the difference?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle, cast diversity wise, gets a “B+”. This is a movie set in the cloak and dagger world of the United Kingdom and U.S. which is primarily a white male environment. However, Halle Berry has a major supporting role as the character, Ginger, in the Statesman’s organization. And there are other people of color in smaller roles.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material. And my common complaint about films: too long. At 2 hours and 21 minutes, its 21 minutes too long.

However, Kingsman: The Golden Circle gets our highest rating, See It!, because it’s powerfully entertaining!

Movie Review: Come Hell or High Water, There Is NO Reason to See This Film

It's all about justice. Texas justice. Brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) after years of separation, reunite to get back the money their deceased mother paid in a reverse mortgage agreement. If the bank is not repaid, it will take the family farm. So Toby and Tanner set out to rob the branches of the bank in question, get enough to then repay the bank (using the stolen money) and free the farm of debt for Toby's children who were bequeathed the property. The plan seems completely justifiable in the cowboys' minds. The problem is that on the verge of retiring Texas Ranger, Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) see the robberies as breaking the law.

Hell or High Water is not a bad movie. It's just no reason to see it. It's mildly entertaining but so is a lot of what's on TV or on the internet. It very much resembles a 1950s Western – except for the language and more graphic violence.

But in the 50s, this type of film worked because there was so much less entertainment competition. Now watching your favorite videos on YouTube alone would be a better use of your time.

The story is not especially thrilling, switching back and forth between Toby and Chris reminiscing about their childhood or strategizing over the next bank heist.

You find Marcus and Alberto debating how to best catch the brothers and Marcus taking shots at Alberto's half Comanche/half Mexican ethnicity.

The film drags through much of time. Small town Texas isn't that interesting, at least as portrayed in this movie.

Hell or High Water gets a D for cast diversity. Texas is a place where more than half the population is black and Hispanic. Other than Gil Birmingham who is in real life a Comanche, there are few people of color in this film.

So come Hell or High Water, pass on this film. It gets a Dead on Arrival rating. Not because it's a bad movie, it's not worth seeing or renting.

Hell or High Water is rated R for strong violence, language, and brief sexuality. And is 102 minutes in length.


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