Matthew Vaughn's latest film, "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" may go down as the poster child of how not to make a sequel. It is the definitive reason why I hate sequels of previously good films.


When a director gets the call to make a sequel - especially for an action film like "Kingsman: The Secret Service" - the knee jerk reaction is to try to make it bigger and badder. It's why there are so few successful sequels. Francis Ford Coppola's "The GodFather Part 2" presented a prequel to the already complete "The Godfather" explaining the development of Vito Corleone. His "The Godfather Part III" tracked the son, an aging Michael Corleone. Any one of those three movie stands alone.


Instead, Vaughn decided to bring back a character who was killed in the original and trying to make him relevant. That stunt was only successful in "Star Trek II: The Search for Spock" in which Spock was revived but after a very subtle set-up from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn". It was easier to build a story because it was science fiction, medical tchnology was more advanced and the explaination made sense.

Vaughn and his co-writing partner Jane Goldman could not expound on Eggsy (Taron Egerton) the protagonists role, because the first film was an origin story and it was too late to develop Harry (Colin Firth) because the killed him off in the original. (Remember, Samuel L Jackson put a bullet in his head.) Instead they revive him.


The film opens with Eggsy narrowly escaping death when a former Kingsman reject named Charlie (Edward Holcroft) tries to kill him during a sensational fight sequence and car chase. It turns out that Charles is now working for a gal named Poppy (Julianne Moore) who has built a pop cultured themed drug empire in the middle of a jungle. She hold Elton John hostage.


She is also intent of ridding the world of The Kingsman, which she pretty much does with the exception of Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong). But no problem, because he is gettong new help from another secret agentcy in the US called the Statesmen who all have cocktail codenames.

He is introduced to them when Tequila (Channing Tatum) encounters them. The are led by Champagne (Jeff Bridges), have a really cute gadget gal Ginger (Halle Berry) and will be assisted by Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). But, low and behold, who do they have in their hospital lab but Harry who is suffering from acute amnesia. The explanation as to how he gets there is beyond reason.


Poppy, much like Sam Jackson's Valentine character in the first film, is bent on global domination and has released contaminated batches of various illegal drugs that will turn the victims blue prior to killing them. She wants the United States president to legalize all of her drugs in order for her to release the antidote.


All this is swirled around Eggsy's relationship to Princess Tilde (Hanna Astrom) of Sweden whom he met in the original. She excuses him as he tries to save the world in several action sequences.


Most of those action sequences and fight scenes are off the hook. The use of the lassos and bull whips by the Statesmen against the bad guys and the fancy shooting and gunplay is quite entertaining.


However, there is simply too much of everything. The revival of Harry is ridiculous. Julianne Moore doesn't do over-the-top crazy well, though she does look like she's having fun. There quite simply isn't enough Channing Tatum and Elton John. The contamination terror has been done already in "Batman" (1989) when Jack Nicholson's Joker contaminated the make-up. Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges were grossly underused.


On top of everything else, this overloaded sequel has a run time of two hours twenty-five minutes. This includes periods of utter boredom.


"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" is an overblown, way over-the-top waste of talent and money. The story is preposterous, Julianne Moore is miscast and there isn't enough Elton John.   -- GEOFF BURTON