* * C
The original Kingsman movie was good. As expected, the sequel was inferior, though there were things I liked about it. Taron Egerton returns as Eggsy, with side kick Merlin (Mark “Sinestro” Strong). First spoiler: Despite being shot in the head in the previous installment, Colin Firth is back as the original Galahad. This time out, the villain, Poppy, is played by Julianne Moore. After Moore wipes out the Kingsmen (other than Eggsy and Merlin), they join forces with their American counterparts, the Statesmen.
They team up to foil Poppy’s evil plan to blackmail the US president into legalizing all drugs by poisoning drug users. This leads to the biggest negative (for me) in the film: the president agrees to sign an order to legalize (which is beyond the power of the president; the congress makes laws in the US) but secretly plans to let all of the infected drug users die. In the end, he is impeached and jailed. This rang hollow for me.
The president is not the only extra villain. There is also a traitor among the Statesmen. There are some excellent action sequences, and the performances are solid, with Colin Firth standing out. Still, on the whole, this film did not leave me wanting another installment. Also, this is one of the worst movie posters ever.