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posted 8 Jan 2018, 04:26 by Scene Alba Magazine

Amid a slew of fancy action, spectacular locations and the same wry humour that made the 2014 film a smash hit, the sequel is more of the same - a wonderful mix of zany ideas and slick execution. Based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, clever scripting (again by director Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman) offers a natural expansion to the franchise, shifting London's Savile Row and bespoke tailors to whiskey-filled Kentucky, home of John Denver's Country Roads, a song that features prominently throughout. Once again it's a scrumptious mash-up of the spy movie genre whose blend of action, satire and spoof forms an intoxicating cocktail.

Honour, bravery and loyalty are the themes and the film begins with an eye-opening action sequence featuring mind-boggling gymnastics in a London taxicab that impossibly drives sideways and underwater. Quickly the essence of the Kingman's spy organisation is established along with the characters that are as diverse as they are entertaining. Heart of the film is the relationship between baby faced Taron Egerton's Eggsy and Colin Firth's super cool spy Harry Hart, who trained the former London punk and is now obsessed by butterflies. But there is no shortage of memorable characters, stars or gadgets.

Julianne Moore's megalomaniac drug lord Poppy with a penchant for 50s retro, robotics and Fargo-style grinder is a formidable villain; her red hair blends with the blood red, white and black decor. This is a film filled with style and sassy substance. Then there is the allied Kentucky spy organisation Statesman, whose cowboy spies (Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal) have a pedigree as notable as their alcoholic beverage names (Champagne, Tequila and Whiskey). Plus, there is Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Emily Watson, Edward Holcroft and Bruce Greenwood as the US President. Interesting to note the Kentucky spies wear aviator glasses, as opposed to the London spies' black-rimmed variety.

There are numerous highlights including an out of control cable car spinning down the snow covered Italian Alps, a royal romance, sleeping with the enemy at a music festival (watch for the controversial shot!) and Elton John a vision in pink feathers and playing a red grand piano. It's a little long, but who's complaining, where there is so much fun to be had!