Movie review

Movie review: 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle'

On her majesty's alternative service sequel offers more smashy crashy action

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In that now-widely talked-about wacky fusion of James Bond and “Kick-Ass,” writer-director Matthew Vaughn returns with a smashy-crashy sequel to 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” that is more of the same, but a teeny bit deeper into the character’s backstory.

For this go-round of the comic book-inspired franchise, newly minted Kingsman agent Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) wears the cool of his new job like a kid with new Air Jordans. But, no sooner does he step out and strike a jaunty pose than fists start flying and cars start careening through the streets of London. Overlapping some elements from the first movie, Eggsy soon discovers that a new villain has learned from them and found a way to attack the Kingsman headquarters.

And, since there is a lot of relatively graphic violence in these movies, be prepared to see some familiar characters bite the dust in sudden and tragic ways.

The first film was kind of an origin story, at least for Eggsy. Plucked from a punkish slacker existence, he was bailed out of the slammer by Kingsman senior agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who goes by the code name Galahad. All of the Kingsman agents use code names culled from King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Eggsy was picked because, one, he has been tracked by the Kingsman group because he displays a particular set of skills; and, two, because Eggsy has a connection to Galahad he never knew about.

In that first adventure, the Kingsman agents go up against a villain with mental issues. No, check that, he was a crazy, insane sociopath played by Samuel L. Jackson … with a lisp. This time, the Kingsman agents have in their sights a different villain, but no less crazy and no less sociopathic. This one is a woman named Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), the brains of an illegal drug outfit that has made so much money she’s backed herself into isolation. She’s sad because she has to surround herself with high-tech devices, like robots and computers, amid reminders of home, like a ‘50s-style diner, movie theater and such – all with her name emblazoned across the front.

In the first movie, Sam Jackson’s character used a SIM card that, when activated, caused the user to go on a psychotic killing rampage. All of this was a twisted effort to cull the human race of undesirables so his chosen few could rule the world. This time, Poppy has implanted a special substance in various recreational drugs that, when activated, will cause the user to develop mysterious disease-like symptoms leading to horrible death. She says she will prevent this from going viral only if the U.S president (Bruce Greenwood) ends his war on drugs and grants her and her associates total immunity.

In the meantime, Eggsy is dealing with personal issues involving the woman of his dreams, Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alström), and with the fact that he and Merlin (Mark Strong), the surviving Kingsman agents, must now follow protocol and contact their brother organization in the U.S. called “The Statesman.”

Watch for hilarious turns by Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Elton John. By the way, John’s “Rocket Man” somehow finds its way into a sly reference, as does the impeachment of a warmongering world leader. 

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material.

It is being screened daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

The following were compiled from press materials

Friend Request

MPAA rating: R for horror violence, disturbing images and language

Mitchell Storyteller 7

Popular college student Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) has tons of friends, both on Facebook and IRL (in real life). She graciously accepts social outcast Marina’s (Liesl Ahlers) online friend request, at least until Marina crosses the line and Laura unfriends her.

To everyone’s shock, Marina takes her own life in a ritual meant to torment Laura, which appears in a video posted on Laura’s profile. Even though it wasn’t Laura who posted the video or other creepy content that begins appearing on her page, her Facebook friend count begins to dwindle as a result. When her real-life friends start dying mysterious, cruel deaths, Laura must figure out how to break the deadly curse before it’s too late.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

MPAA rating: PG for mild action and rude humor

Mitchell Storyteller 7

The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd (Dave Franco), aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce, but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu.

Additional voice talent includes Fred Armisen, Michael Peña and Kumail Nanjiani.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

MPAA rating: Not rated

Movies at the TCA

“Many artists and musical forms played a role in the creation of rock, but arguably no single piece of music was more influential than the 1958 instrumental ‘Rumble’ by American Indian rock guitarist and singer-songwriter,” according to Link Wray.

When recalling Wray’s shivering guitar classic, “Rumble,” film director Martin Scorsese said, “It is the sound of that guitar … that aggression.” “Rumble” was the first song to use distortion and feedback. It introduced the rock power chord – and was one of the very few instrumental singles to be banned from the radio for fear it would incite violence.

The new documentary film, “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” explores how the Native American influence is an integral part of music history, despite attempts to ban, censor and erase Indian culture in the United States.

As the film reveals, the early pioneers of the blues had Native, as well as African-American roots, and one of the first and most influential jazz singers’ voices was trained on Native American songs. As the folk rock era took hold in the 1960s and ‘70s, Native Americans helped to define its evolution.

“Rumble” uses playful re-creations and little-known stories, alongside concert footage, archives and interviews. The stories of these iconic Native musicians are told by some of America’s greatest music legends who knew them, played music with them and were inspired by them: everyone from Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones and Tony Bennett to Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt. The film shows how indigenous music was part of the very fabric of American popular music from the beginning, but that the Native American contribution was left out of the story – until now.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 1) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (Oct. 2-4).

Movies at the TCA film series, Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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