Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Script-O-Meter rating: 2
Genres: Action/Comedy/Science Fiction
Premise from imdb.com: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the U.S. These two elite secret organizations must band together together to defeat a common enemy.
It is ironic that when a writer concocts so many sub-plots which take the audience off the Hero’s main goal/desire, the main story line gets lost in the shuffle. This was what was happening in the first 10 minutes, until we got to the change of venue at Poppy’s hang-out. We are introduced to the psychopathic opponent, Poppy, who does not flinch when one of her “soldiers” is committed into a meat grinder. She calmly makes a “humanburger” out of the hapless sub- opponent; dares her next “soldier” to eat the thing, while the audience tries to avoid vomiting. Not necessarily because of the disgusting concept of grinding a human being and then filming the “humanburger” for all to see, but because of just plain grossly overplayed attempts at humor with a classless script.
Billed as action/comedy, this script continued to exacerbate the patience of an audience that actually was relieved by the special effects/blood/carnage/ destruction/body parts flying – I noticed the audience turning on their hand-held devices and catching up on e-mails, which was even more obnoxious than this script.
The Hero, a young recent recruit into the secret service, simply did not have a believable story line. As with the genre of Mythology, this Hero set out to smite the dragons, one after another, using tools, weapons, impromptu devices, sci-fi gadgets, etc. This type of writing is predictable because after slaying one dragon, the rest are ho-hum going to be slain. There are no surprises in this script, other than a vast array of curious characters who enter and then depart.
The Opponent, Poppy, is not particularly opposed to the Hero for any particular reason. She is not blocking what the Hero attempts to do because so many other unrelated characters march in and out of the script, as if they were tacked on to increase the Narrative Drive. This technique did not work. The audience attention was not on the Hero’s character arc because the vast character displays with no significant web to speak of kept taking the audience OFF of the Narrative Drive – the exact opposite desired effect.
The dialogue was in your face, with very little subtext. Predictable character development, to the point where except for the British crew and the British accents vs. the southern characters and the whiskey drinkers and down home brawls – The characters could have been interchangeable they were drawn in such a surface manner. Colin Firth, with temporary memory loss, did a superb job as usual because he is a fine actor. Jeff Bridges also did what he could with his whiskey saturated good old’ boy routine leading a crew of men who all want to fight on the side for good vs. the evil “out there.”
In addition, the genres of Action/Comedy/Science Fiction were ineffectively blended. Action takes precedence for the Hero’s Desire/Goal. Since the Hero’s goal is so muddled, it is hard to be invested in this Action section of the genre. The
Comedy usually involves archetypes: The wise mentor; the warrior; the princess; the trickster; the man-machine robot, etc. Since this story line is from a comic book, the archetypes were represented here, but just minimally. The drama aspect of comedy with a straight character playing off a character that always messes up, etc., so that the audience can sense irony was sorely lacking in this script. The slapstick only played momentarily. The audience soon lost interest because of the repetition.
Finally, the Science Fiction genre portrays either a utopian or dystopian universe where a writer has an opportunity to express values for a better life or a life that has gone into the realm of sheer hell. The Science Fiction genre in this story was well played in Poppy’s Story World and in the various Story Worlds of all the sub-plots, but again because of the gadgets and convenient toys, killing devices, slice and dice apparatus as if from nowhere – It was gimmicky and predictable.
Poppy, the opponent, was so ridiculous, the attempt at parody was lost. A good opponent works punch-counter-punch with a good Hero – back and forth, constantly giving the audience Reveals. This was not the case with this script. The result – Very boring, predictable, and clichéd.