Out now, audiences have the choice to take part in another adventure in the Lego Movie universe or see the followup to one of the most fun surprise hits of 2015. Those films, respectively are The Lego Ninjago Movie and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Both films provide an enjoyable enough time, though they're unable to match the heights of the films whose footsteps they follow.
The Lego Ninjago movie is the tale of a group of ninjas trying to save their city, as told by a wise old man (a welcome return performance by Jackie Chan) to a young boy who visits his store one day. The boy wants to know all about the young warrior (Dave Franco) whose absentee villainous father (Justin Theroux) has made his life a living nightmare. Can this warrior repeatedly save the city his father is trying to destroy AND have a relationship with said father at the same time? Only if he, along with his ninja buddies, can become one and heed what they've learned from their wise old teacher (also Jackie Chan.)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle picks up not too long where Kingsman: The Secret Service left off. The film opens with Eggsy (Taron Egerton) on the run from one of his former schoolmates and it's a completely fun and amazingly done sequence. Unbeknownst to him, this encounter sets off a chain of events that changes the Kingsman and rocks them to their core. With nowhere to turn, Eggsy and Merlin have to travel to America to seek help from the Kingsman's American counterpart: the Statesmen. There, they discover an old ally, as well as another nefarious plot that's in motion across the globe to once again bring the world to its knees.
I definitely had higher hopes and expectations for the Kingsman sequel than I did for Ninjago, and while it certainly wasn't a *bad* sequel, it just didn't thrill and excite me the same way the original did. To be fair, it couldn't exactly surprise me, since this time around I did have expectations because of loving the first one. Golden Circle doesn't try to top the craziness of the first movie which is good, but it does perhaps try to add too many new characters that aren't really needed. I definitely had fun with the movie...particularly with the one celebrity cameo that they milk to death. But, whether it's not enough sequences like the opening one or something else...something just felt lacking or missing about this sequel. That said, I am optimistic about where this franchise could go if it continues. EMILY RATING: 7/10