Taron Egerton’s glum chav-turned-debonair secret agent Eggsy returns for more tongue-in-cheek spy thrills in this sequel to 2014’s cheeky James Bond pastiche.
But as Eggsy takes on a fresh adversary and finds fresh allies, this adventure becomes a crass and bloated mess.
Julianne Moore’s drug queenpin Poppy Adams is the film’s big baddie and the notion that her secret lair is a 1950s-style American diner hidden deep in the Cambodian jungle does raise a brief smile.
Another good idea is that Eggsy’s new espionage partners belong to the Statesman agency, the brash US equivalent of the UK’s gentlemanly Kingsman organisation. However, despite being played by the starry likes of Halle Berry, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges, they are not a great deal of fun.
Colin Firth’s dapper spy Harry Hart, apparently killed in the first movie, is back, albeit stricken with amnesia, but you will probably be more surprised by the appearance of Elton John, who turns up as himself in an extended cameo, which may tickle some fancies.
But really the whole film falls flat, while director Matthew Vaughn and his co-screenwriter Jane Goldman go totally over the top with the ultra-violence and ultra-crude jokes.