Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the result of “getting the band back together” when the band broke up six months ago and everyone still hates each other so they just re-mix a few songs and release a “Greatest Hits” album. Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsmen: The Secret Service was a sleeper hit when it was released in February of 2015. The film struck the perfect tone, balancing irreverence and absurdity with the clichés of the action spy genre, all the while telling a legitimately interesting story. As a critical darling, once the film broke even financially it was all but assured that a sequel would be made. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the result – a film as derivative and unimaginative as its predecessor was refreshing.
The underdog is an established trope in the sports film, but it is rare that the underdog is celebrated for merely his effort. Most of these kinds of stories focus on an under-appreciated team or person punching way above their weight class and de-throning the champion in a show of heart and determination. But, there are iconic examples of this kind of story where the victory is not the focus of the protagonist. Instead, the thematic elements are born from the characters showing the courage to compete against titanic odds. Examples of this kind of film range from the original Rocky and Bad News Bears, to true-life versions like Cool Runnings. Dexter Fletcher’s Eddie the Eagle is most similar in both plot and theme to the Jamaican bobsled film from 1993, but flirts with approaching the subject with a too-heavy hand in critical moments. Continue reading ““Eddie the Eagle” Succeeds in Theme, But Hits Too-Familiar Story Points”