TITLE: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW VAUGHN
STARRING: TARON EGERTON, JULIANNE MOORE, MARK STRONG, COLIN FIRTH, HALLE BERRY, CHANNING TATUM, PEDRO PASCAL, JEFF BRIDGES
Oh, my. Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is everything I expected from a Kingsman sequel, and everything I didn't expect. I adored the first Kingsman. It was weird, fresh and exciting. Matthew Vaughn, turned the spy genre on its head with the first film. While The Secret Service definitely had its little quirks and off the wall moments, The Golden Circle doubles down on that. This film is batshit insane. Your level of enjoyment with The Golden Circle, is going to depend on what your tolerance level is. I suspect if you liked the style of the the first film, you will love what Vaughn does here. I actually kind of adore what The Golden Circle does. However, it isn't as good as the first. With Vaughn basically doing whatever he wants here, the screenplay tends to suffer. It's not as tightly written as the first, and the pacing tends to drag. I love the performances in here though. Everyone is solid, and they totally get what this film is, as they go along with Vaughn's vision. I also love how the evolution of the characters we met in the first film, doesn't get lost in the craziness. In fact, that is the grounding this film needs. Yes, it's zany. However, these characters remain human. Despite its faults, I kind of love The Golden Circle, but it's not for everyone.
DIRECTOR: ANDY MUSCHIETTI
STARRING: JADEN LIEBERHER, SOPHIA LILLIS, FINN WOLFHARD, BILL SKARSGARD, JEREMY RAY TAYLOR, CHOSEN JACOBS
IT, never exceeds the sum of its parts, which is a shame. What's most effective in this Stephen King adaptation, are the kids. The Losers Club, is depicted so well here. All these young actors, are fantastic both in their roles, and with each other. The filmmakers are going to have a tough time come Chapter 2, finding adult actors to gel as well as the young kids. The inevitable comparisons to Tim Curry, who portrayed the evil clown Pennywise, in the 90's miniseries, to Bill Skarsgard in this version, are inevitable. Both portrayals are very solid. They are also very different. Curry's version is iconic; one may even say, the only good thing about the miniseries. Skarsgard does a great job here, making the character his own. The problem is, he never really gets a good amount of time to shine. A good portion of his performance, is peeking around corners and then ducking back into the shadows. Ultimately, outside of the Losers Club, and the few moments Skarsgard gets to flex his muscles, the rest of IT is just a run-of-the-mill, paint-by-numbers horror film. It's plagued by cheap jump scares, false scares, stringy music, a slow pace, and an abundance of forced moments. However, IT isn't bad. In fact, it is one of the stronger adaptations of a Stephen King horror novel. It has a knack of pulling itself back into focus. Most of that, is due to these wonderful young actors here. IT, is good, but it's generic shortcomings are disappointing.