Matthew Vaughn directs Taron Egerton, Mark Strong and Colin Firth in this over the top spy spoof sequel where the classy independents go American.
A very baggy middle lets down this energetic retread of the original. Bringing Firth’s master agent back from the grave is sensible; spending quite so long messing around, looking for false emotion in his amnesia subplot is wasteful. Still once he is back so comes the funky action. A few of the gags don’t hit – basically as they have a warped Telegraph reader’s idea of what is cool at their base. Glastonbury isn’t “hip” but we only spend five minutes there, but having the charisma-free homunculus that is Elton John dominate the finale just because he was willing is almost unforgivable. These jarring wobbles weaken what is a big, spectacular, couldn’t give a shit, starry, bad taste Bank Holiday afternoon filler. Fast food, but we all like a gherkin and fat fused burp occasionally. No better or worse than the mid-level Roger Moore Bond’s that inspired it in spectacle, scale or sensibility but lacking the Pygmalion heart that made the first one stand out.