“Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle” was everything that you could expect from this franchise – intense violence, slow-motion action and jaw-dropping moments. Generally, sequels have a habit of falling short and tend to repeat the main motifs of previous films without providing new content. “Kingsman” stayed true to its style in a fresh way and creates a fresh narrative. Main characters are reintroduced and show interesting progression since the first movie. The beginning scene doesn’t waste any time and immediately jumps into a high-speed chase that showcases the main character’s new skills. The protagonist is once again Eggsy Unwin (Taron Egerton), and we watch how he navigates situations with his new and mature demeanor. He is now a full-blown Kingsman trying to resume his life after losing his mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth).

Tragedy strikes early in the film, and the Kingsman are nearly obliterated by a psychopathic drug lord named Poppy Evans (Julianne Moore). She is a villain like no other, and her Cambodian lair is filled with robots and 50’s-inspired paraphernalia. She is immune to empathy and has a sickeningly sweet smile while she turns a blind eye to her own brutality. The disastrous circumstances caused by Poppy lead Eggsy and the remaining agents to search for their American colleagues, the Statesmen. The film shows how they join forces and take down a common enemy.

The beautiful artistry of the film is revealed in close-up action scenes that capture every gory detail. The fights are in slow motion and follow the characters as they dodge through bullets and run away from robotic creatures. The over-the-top ruthlessness becomes a bit numbing and this film doesn’t hold back. You have a front row seat for cannibalism, meat grinders and people being severed in half by electric lassos (told you this wasn’t your everyday spy movie). However, there are moments of sacrifice and passion for a shared mission, and there is a heavier sense of human loss and how people cope with the death of loved ones. A key theme of the movie aims to challenge assigned identity and the definition of success. Eggsy is an example of this. He morphed into the best version of himself by showing that “manners make a man.”