KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Cert 15 141mins Stars 1

If I hadn’t been so bored watching this cut-price James Bond rip off I would have hated it more.

It’s a horrible bully of a film which insists if you don’t laugh at it’s snobbish, boorish and misogynist humour, you’re the one at fault.

An over long sequel to 2015’s questionable espionage caper, it aims for bigger and brasher which only magnifies its many faults.

Having saved the world last time out Taron Egerton is back with his unconvincing cockney accent as Eggsy. He’s now a fully fledged operative of the secret Kingsman organisation, who are sworn to protect the power of the privileged and wealth .

Eggsy’s pompous mentor Harry Hart was supposedly killed off in the first film, and we have to suffer a laborious explanation for the return of Colin Firth’s brolly wielding agent.

An aristocrat who enjoys lecturing the working class on good manners while beating them up, Hart is incomprehensibly positioned as an aspirational figure.

Star names are roped in to pad out the cast list but poor Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges are immediately sidelined.

Meanwhile Hanna Alstrom is once again on the bum end of a gag as Princess Tilde, model turned actress Poppy Delevingne is assaulted in a Glastonbury tent, and singer Elton John appears as himself.

Only Julianne Moore as a megalomanic drug dealer holding world to ransom survives with any credit.

The series comic book origins are evident in the wacky building design, casual attitude to mass destruction, paper thin characters and the absence of gravity from action scenes.

Scrabbling around for jokes and ideas, the script borrows from superhero films and Indiana Jones. It proudly lifts a joke from Carry On up the Khyber, which was amusing back in 1968.

Writers Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman find swearing incurably funny and take juvenile delight in their misjudged attempts to be outrageous. There’s no cinematic gold here, only a circle of fools.

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