“Don’t get in a fight with Channing Tatum!”
20th Century Fox’s entire presence at Comic Con this year surrounded their comic book sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. No X-Men, no Deadpool, no New Mutants, no Predator. But if you’re going to narrow your focus on just one film, you better bring a tremendous wallop of a panel. Also, the promise of free on-theme fidget spinners and (maybe human) hamburgers over at the Hard Rock Hotel went a long way to easing our gluttonous disappointment.
The panel opened up with the animated Archer/Kingsman mashup that has already stormed all over the internet. Taron Egerton may kick a lot of ass and look good doing it, but can his stomach store a decanter’s worth of scotch like Sterling Archer? Naw.
BBC One’s Jonathan Ross mastered the ceremonies, introducing a video feed of director Matthew Vaughn still trapped in the studio knocking out the final edit of The Golden Circle. He gifted the crowd the film’s opening action beat, in which Eggsy (Egerton) takes on a former Kingsman (Edward Holcroft) in the backseat of his car. Faces get smashed, bullets get dodged, car doors are transformed into skateboards. It’s a hyperreal encounter in the same vein of the original film’s set pieces but cranked up to the appropriate 11.
On stage, Ross asked Colin Firth to reveal just how the hell he’s back in the second film (spoiler: he seems to die in Kingsman: The Secret Service), but the actor only shrugged off the prodding with, “It’s all a mystery to me, as well.” With the plot revelations skirted over, Egerton was allowed to man crush all over Channing Tatum. He prided himself on his own skills as an action figure but acknowledged the Magic Mike might of Tatum as the ultimate specimen. “Don’t get in a fight with Channing Tatum!” They then cut to a clip of Tatum easily destroying Egerton and Mark Strong while they sneak around the secret bourbon distilling headquarters of Statesman, America’s equivalent to Kingsman. Be on the lookout for Tatum’s tremendous range as a chaw spitter. Gross!
The highlight of the panel, however, had to be Halle Berry exclaiming the hidden depths of her character just before downing a pint’s worth of whisky that Tatum deviously poured into her water glass. Who knows if it was legit bourbon or just a tall glass of iced tea, but it’s worth noting that only Jeff Bridges downed the shot glasses handed out down the line. The other actors left theirs barely sipped. So when Berry gulped that beast down and her cartoonish collapse plopped her into Pedro Pascal’s lap, a great eruption of applause washed through Hall H, but the resulting thousand-yard stare had a sickening reality to it. Of course, an Oscar does rest on her mantel.
While we may have been hoping for Josh Brolin’s Cable, the Kingsman: The Golden Circle panel did its job in psyching the crowd for its upcoming release (September 22nd). The true blessing being that every actor on that stage was seemingly thrilled to be facing down that crowd of 6,000 Hall H maniacs.