Does the movie live up to the hype?
Well any sequel has a harder time living up to the original as many elements get reused. In this case they are reusing one of the side bad guys by having him survive with new enhanced ability along with the resuscitation of the main leader in the first version of Harry Hart even though he was point blank shot in version one. It involves a leap of faith, but helps to pull together the energy of the first movie. Of course, as we know due to the marketing the whole Kingsman agency is blown up right off the start, which I guess they had to keep, but would have made for a much stronger movie by hiding these elements until you saw the movie.
Well, again I think the movie would have worked much better if this had been a surprise, but then how do you do the marketing without these elements? I suppose you could have done marketing focused on the super villain, which they completely downplay in the marketing. Maybe the marketing guys thought a woman supervillain wasn't much of a draw, which I don't think is the case. There have been many supervillains like Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough.
As far as the 2nd Kingsman, it has a nice revamp of the original series by being obnoxiously American after being over the top British. Some of the funniest parts are with British guys singing classic American country songs in British accent and vice versa. Great for endless gags of costumes, setups and betrayals.
It's interesting in that I think there have been few redhead villainesses that I can name off the top of my head. Although Gold Finger was also red headed, so what am I thinking. Her plan is quite ingenious for a villain to topple the planet to its knees. The part that throws a real wrench in her plan is the US president, who actually likes the result of her plan if they do nothing. Basically only the noble spies can save the world. The world Poppy has created in the jungle is classic Americana imposed onto some jungle ruins in Cambodia. Definitely a funny gag that defines the villain very well for "values". Also they do a great job of showing her ruthlessness at maintaining control of her massive drug empire.
Well, I think with modern day spy movies you have to have a certain element of CGI to make fantastic stunts of super spies believable and make for a fun movie. Having the mechanical dogs may have been a bit much, but offers a genuine challenge to all that oppose Poppy and act as her last backup protection. I think they could have stripped a bit of the CGI out, but that's not what stand out in a good spy movie. Although I would say Atomic Blonde uses much less CGI and has a better plot (realistic spy movie). But Kingsman doesn't pretend to be realistic anyway, so I wouldn't worry. Besides the audience clapped at the end, which is amazing for a simple pop film.
What would you have changed in the movie?
I would just figure out a way to do the marketing without showing them blowing up all the Kingsman in the beginning. That was such a let down to let that cat out of the bag. It would have been a shock to viewers from the first film, but they really pissed away one of the great surprises of the second films. I have to say many films make this mistake nowadays by ruining the plot before a film starts. Oh well.
Have you done any spy art?
I have done two works related to spy work. One is a bit obvious with Dennis Rodman going to do basketball diplomacy with Kim Jung Un under the Obama presidency. In my painting I address the issue of trying this in the face of starving children and then going on TV with a money jacket, almost saying obnoxiously that he represents capitalism in the worst way. Makes you wonder if he was brain washed by the Kim regime to make the US look bad on TV.