Though Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth showed up at San Diego Comic-Con to promote Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the most memorable on-screen moments belonged to an actress who wasn’t there: Julianne Moore.
Julianne Moore in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. All Image: Fox
In the new film Moore plays the villain Poppy, and in one of three clips shown to the Hall H crowd we not only got to learn about her, but saw her amazing home — which is buried deep in the jungle, but still looks like a kitschy ’50s theme park.
Moore began the clip announcing “My drugs are everywhere” in voiceover as the camera flies over a jungle. She explains she’s the head of the biggest drug cartel in the world, but the downside is she has to live in the middle of nowhere. As the camera reaches the peak of a mountain, it sweeps across to reveal some ruins, which have a sign on them: Poppy Land. (If you watch the film’s latest trailer, basically all of the scenes that take place in a lush, outdoor setting are set in Poppy Land.)
Poppy explains that though the ruins are old, she grew up in the age of ’50s nostalgia such as Grease, American Graffiti and Happy Days, which is why she transformed the ruins into her own personal ’50s neighbourhood. There’s a drug store, a beauty parlour, movie theatre and, of course, a classic ’50s diner, where Poppy is talking to two thugs in a bright, red and white checkered space. She explains that her group, the Golden Circle, has a global monopoly on the drug trade and it’s important to her that new recruits know all about her and her history.
After an older thug vouches for a younger one, Poppy explains that what really matters to her is loyalty and that people follow her orders — and she likes proof that people will do that. So she tells the younger recruit, Angel, that the older guy has done something wrong and that he’s to shove him in a meat grinder. They both look shocked for a second but Poppy isn’t laughing. The older guy runs and Poppy whistles. Out of two doghouses come two robot dogs named Bennie and Jet, who run after the older guy and stop him. Angel then grabs him and shoves him into the meat grinder. (Think Fargo.) In seconds, he’s chopped meat, which Poppy begins to form into a burger patty. It’s a diner, after all!
Next she sends Angel to the beauty parlour where he has his teeth filed, his fingerprints removed, and a ring of pure gold poured onto his skin. He’s now in the Golden Circle. But there’s one more task he must fulfil, as Poppy presents him with a perfect-looking cheeseburger. Angel reluctantly takes a bite and tells Poppy, through a grimace, that it’s delicious.
Beyond the trailer, the Kingsmen panel showed two other clips; the first was the film’s opening action scene and, holy crap, it is epic.
First we see something very, very yellow, which is revealed to be the “S” of the “Kingsman” sign on their store front. Eggsy (Taron Edgerton) is there and he is confronted by Charlie, one of the rejected Kingsman recruits from the first movie. Charlie pulls on gun on Eggsy and urges him to unlock his taxi. Eggsy does, but then throws Charlie into the cab and a massive fight ensues, in classic Matthew Vaughn fashion. The camera sweeps all around, the film speeds up and slows down, and Eggsy kicks the radio on and “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince starts playing.
As the fight continues, Charlie punches Eggsy and he flies through the door outside. A passing car smashes through the open door, and a few additional blows later, Eggsy finds himself riding on the detached door, behind the car, holding on to the trunk as three additional cars come up from behind. Eggsy cuts his way back through the trunk of his car, somehow muscles Charlie outside of the car, and that’s when Charlie puts his hand on the pavement. As his skin comes off, it’s revealed he has a cyborg arm.
Back in the car, Eggsy tries to shoot but Charlie blocks all of the bullets with his arm. He then tries the boot knife from in the first movie but Charlie cuts off the blade and it flies into the neck of the driver. The car naturally runs off the road; Eggsy braces himself before it crashes, but Charlie is thrown through the windshield and dies.
The scene still isn’t over, because there are still those three other cars to take care of. Eggsy presses a button and his cab kind of transforms, getting new wheels and new controls. Now it’s a car chase throughout London: Eggsy does his best Fast and Furious and begs Merlin (Mark Strong), who apparently has been watching all this, for permission to attack the cars. Merlin says no, and the chase goes into Hyde Park and now, away from public eyes, Merlin gives his OK. Eggsy presses a button in the car, a missile comes out of the roof, splits into three, and blows all of the cars away at once.
Now the cops are on Eggsy’s tail, so he has to use a secret passage named the Swan. It’s underwater, but the car doesn’t have a windshield any more. Merlin says he seems to remember that Eggsy is good at holding his breath. So Eggsy drives directly into water, holds his breath, and the car becomes a submarine as it motors underwater to a secret, hidden tunnel.
The other scene was from a little later in the movie. Eggsy and Merlin are in Kentucky, at the Statesman Whiskey facility, home to the Kingsman’s American counterparts. They’re on a tour but break off, where Eggsy finds a hidden panel and questions why there’s a high-tech biometric security scanner in a whiskey storage building. He and Merlin hack it and walk inside, where they detect a large structure in the floor and decide the entrance is masked by a huge barrel of whiskey. Merlin grabs an axe, and just as he hacks into the barrel, Channing Tatum (reportedly named Agent Tequila) arrives.
He’s mad that his facility has been broken into and asks Eggsy and Merlin who they are. They explain they work for the fine UK tailor shop Kingsman; Tequila has heard of it but asks how a couple of tailors hacked their security. Merlin realises there’s gonna be trouble so he lifts his hand off the barrel, which he’s been using to plug the hole he in the whiskey barrel he made with the axe. Out pours a bunch of whiskey. Tequila sprints across the room and plugs the leak before announcing that by wasting 1963 reserve, now they have made it personal. A fight begins but Tequila quickly grabs Eggsy’s arm, presses a few buttons on his watch, and shoots the young man with his own stun dart. “Who are you?” asks Eggsy as he passes out.
The first Kingsman was a super cool movie, and with these clips, as well as the new trailer, it genuinely looks like Vaughn and his team have upped the ante for the sequel. Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens September 21.