In 2014 Kingsman: The Secret Service hit the cinema screens. And when I say hit – I mean demolished. The comic book adaptation was an unknown franchise to most film-goers, but the combination of Vaughn’s innovative way to shoot fight sequences, the clever spy satire mixed with political commentary that managed to remain hilarious at the same time, the charm and just general Colin Firth-ness of Colin Firth brought together a surprise hit. The likes of which are becoming increasingly rare.
Surprisingly, after Kingsman: The Golden Circle hit the cinemas in September, the overall reaction was one of disappointment. Overall, the film faced some pretty negative feedback. It was seen by some as a crass and unamusing let-down, whilst others proclaimed it to be entertaining but nothing special. I went to see it myself and I personally really enjoyed the film. I found most of it very entertaining (except for that Glastonbury scene), but a friend of mine who I went with seemed much more unconvinced: “It was okay, but I don’t know if I can call it a good movie because I love the first so much.” This highlights where the problem lay, Kingsman: The Golden Circle was doomed to be a let-down due to the insurmountable amount of hype that surrounded it. When a sequel is released it must be better than the original, or it will receive much more negative press than if the prequel film never existed. I call this ‘The Age of Ultron’ effect.
Hype is easy to make nowadays. Mass media websites such as Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube that paste adverts over every piece of media they show, means that anything with a sizeable budget can be seen by millions in a matter of days. For example, 13 hours after the latest ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ trailer was released the official version already had 10 million views on Youtube alone. It’s Basic Marketing: 101 – the more people that see the advert, the more tickets that get sold, which in turn means more money made. Resulting in these options always being taken and exploited which can, unfortunately, have a long-lasting effect on the public’s opinion of a film.
The question is, how can this be fixed? Well, that starts with us. The public. Because as much as we like to complain, the impossible expectations that are set upon us, are set upon us by us. If we didn’t come to the cinema expecting a deep, complex and perfect masterpiece which is funny but with tragic undertones, incredibly shot and fantastically acted, we wouldn’t be so disappointed and critical. I’m not saying that we should always go to the cinema expecting an Emoji Movie-level of terrible films, just that when it comes to movies, maybe expecting less, will give you more.