Kingsman: The Golden Circle arrives in theaters this Friday, the sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. The film, much like the original, is an R-rated action comedy, inspired largely by the James Bond canon, in its combination of blow-out action and its cheeky sexuality. The difference between the Kingsman films and the 007 series, though, is that Kingsman takes both considerably further.
Leave aside the first film’s notorious final joke, something even the famously randy Bond series has never dared try. The Kingsman movies are also incredibly violent. Sure, director Matthew Vaughn is one of the best directors in the world when it comes to choreographing intense, creatively blocked action sequences that look unique. But they’re also extremely bloody, with death and dismemberment a recurring theme. The second movie, if anything, ratchets things up in that regard.
So if you’re asking if Kingsman: The Golden Circle is suitable for children, the answer is an emphatic no. Like the original Kingsman, the second film is rated R. The Golden Circle received that rating, according to the MPAA, due to “sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material,” while the first one got its R thanks to “sequences of strong violence, language and some sexual content.” Each of those, it’s safe to say, is an understatement. SPOILERS FOLLOW.
The first Kingsman, of course, built to an anal sex joke. That topic is only subtly referenced this time around, the second film includes a scene in which the hero implants a tracking device on the person of a female target in a very, uh, intimate way, a scene that’s depicted in sophisticated, biological close-up.
Much more prevalent in the second film is the violence. There are a half-dozen elaborate action scenes, complete with kicking, punching, whipping, shooting, and dismemberment. There are also multiple instances of people being shoved into a meat grinder, and on one occasion being ground into meat and eaten. There are also killer robots, bombs, and various other scary things, including a man nearly drowning.
The other aspect of the plot involves drugs, and resultant body horror. The villain’s evil plan is to infect every drug user on the planet with a virus that first gives them a blue rash and later paralyzes them, while blackmailing governments with an antidote. Children would likely be disturbed by this, especially as it infects actors they might recognize.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle has a lot to recommend about it, but moviegoers would be wise to heed that R rating and leave the kids at home.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens Friday.