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Film Review: A Simple Favour (2018)

A Simple Favour (2018) is a drama thriller that takes a twist on the typical crime films. Directed by Paul Feig (whose works include the remake of Ghostbusters (2016) and Bridesmaids (2011), he follows his previous films that are female centric, casting Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in the lead roles. This story focuses on Stephanie (Kendrick), a mother and vlogger who reports on the disappearance of her friend Emily (Lively), and the story is told through a mix of the vlogs and in person, watching the intricate details of the mysterious case unfold.
To begin, the advertising campaign for this film was gorgeous. I am in love with the poster for this film, as it looks so sophisticated and really gives nothing away about the plot of the movie. All I knew about the film going in was that it was about a crime. I am not usually a fan of crime thrillers, yet this intrigued me due to being so different to the others. I am also a huge fan of Blake Lively in particular, having watched her in

Film Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

The first Kingsman movie, The Secret Service, was a fantastically fun action movie with great action, dialogue and humour. With it being a box office hit not only in the UK but globally, it was imminent that a sequel would be made. The question is, is the sequel just as entertaining as the original? Or does it suffer from what a lot of sequels do, and try too hard and therefore lose the spark of the original?


Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy film co-produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn, with the likes of Colin First and Taron Egerton reprising the roles, and Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum and Halle Berry joining the all-star cast. In this new movie, with their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, Eggsy and Merlin from Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy organisation in the United States known as Statesman. In an adventure that tests their strength and wits, the elite secret agents from both sides of the pond band together to battle a ruthless enemy and save the day. 

The first movie, which grossed over $400 million worldwide, was liked by many for it's slick appearance and non-sense plot. The action was like one of a spy film, but the humour separated it from the likes of Bond and Bourne. With magnificent performance throughout the film, along with a stellar soundtrack, Kingsman: The Secret Service had a lot of charm and charisma, something I was worried would be lost in the sequel.

With a lot of sequels nowadays, the directors try too hard to make it a better movie. They pack too much in, with more characters, storylines, action and more, and end up lacking in sophistication and simplicity. Within the first third of this movie, I was worried that this movie would suffer from that. With numerous plot points that seemed to not be connected and new characters introduced by the minute, there was a worry that this non-sense movie would become, well, too much non-sense.

Despite a rough start, the last two-thirds make up for this by tying everything together in a way that is so hysterical you start to believe in the non-sense. With cameo appearances from none other than Elton John himself, the humour is fantastic throughout. Never in cinematic history have I been able to relate to a villain so badly who doesn't have a back story or decent motive. Each character is refreshingly quirky, from the villain who has a love for everything 50s (something I can personally relate to), to the main character Eggsy who is a gentleman but also a rebellious teen at home.

In this movie we are introduced to the American version of the Kingsmen, known as the Statesman. Everything about this is wacky, as guessed by the nature of the film, but also clever: the Statesmen are an alcohol distillery, and their agents are named after different types of alcohol. And who else to play a fellow agent of the Statesman than Channing Tatum? He does play the role well to be honest, even if his role is smaller than advertised.

This movie is rated a 15/R for a reason. There is a lot of swearing and action scenes that involve blood and gore, but there are two scenes that stand out for a reason. One is a very weird violent scene that involved the villain using a kitchen utensil against a person. The other is this weird sexual scene which involved Eggsy getting his fingers into a girl's... I think you get what I mean. You will understand both when you see those particular scene.

This would not be a proper Kingsman movie without some national pride. This one lacks in particular British culture, but focuses on the American side of things. With the constant whiskey references, stereotypical characters, American diners and bars and Western tunes, there is a lot of pride for America. As well as that, references can be seen for Canada and Scotland throughout, as well as there places across the world.

It would also not be a very good spy action flick if it wasn't for the action sequences. Whilst some do give quite the headache, with all the motion and spinning involved, a lot of the sequences are very smooth in it's transitions. The style of shots used, from a lot of close-up shots and slow motion scenes, give a slick and focused appearance to them. The contents of the action shots are also fantastic. The choreography is well put together to look as realistic as possible, and a variety of weapons and fight sequences are used. The action sequences are also spaced out well, giving a nice balance of action and plot.

Going into this movie, I was hearing a lot of bad things about it. The fact that it made no sense, was too cluttered and was a copy of the original movie. Whilst a lot of the aspects of the original movie was there, and there was a lack of character development from The Secret Service, I found this movie to be exactly what I was hoping for. It was an entertaining action film that kept my interest throughout the entire thing and got better through the movie, adding more layers to the plot and surroundings. I may have even enjoyed The Golden Circle more than The Secret Service, something which I can't say for many movies.

If you're going to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle for developed characters, realistic in-depth story and sophistication, you will be disappointed. If, however, you understand the direction of the film taken by Vaughn and go in to laugh at the weirdness of the story, the mishaps of the characters involved and to have a good time, you will enjoy this film. There's nothing groundbreaking about The Golden Circle by any means, but in a time where everything else is trying to be too much, this movie appreciates what it is and sticks by it.

7/10

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