This film is exceptionally filmed and performed. It’s a necessary reminder that war is for keeps and not at all glamorous, even if the effort is a beautiful effort to save 1600 lives.
James does the character a fair tribute. This film succeeds largely due to her great impression of Streep’s original interpretation. Like the best retracings of characters, though, she paints enough outside the lines so we get to enjoy some amount of growth, even if we know where her story leads. Lily James deserves better than a sequel like this, even if she helps to elevate it to an above average film.
There is no dip in quality or effort in this film. If you enjoyed the first one and can willingly suspend disbelief when it comes to characters that come and go, you should have no problems here. Vaughn’s sense of humor, understanding of visual flair and development of character is still on point here.
Ultimately this is the story about Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. In that respect, it feels more stilted than ever. Someone took happily ever after and broke it up only so they could make a couple of sequels. If it were only possible to make a happily ever after sequel that didn’t involve the split ups.
God save the Queen and long live the Kingsmen.
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