Derek Lawrence
September 18, 2017 AT 06:51 PM EDT

Kingsman: The Golden Circle arrives with more movie stars, action, and running time than its predecessor, but with decidedly less critical success.

Continuing to track the adventures of young British spy Eggsy (Taron Egerton), the sequel to the 2015 hit Kingsman: the Secret Service adds plenty of high-profile newcomers in Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, and Halle Berry, but is being deemed “bloated,” “lazy,” and “not strong on brains or heart.”

As EW’s Chris Nashawaty wrote in his C-minus review, “If the first Kingsman, at its best, felt like a dry martini of a joke, then this one is more Jack and Mountain Dew — unsubtle, unrefreshing, and unnecessary.”

Read more Kingsman: The Golden Circle reviews below.

Giles Keyte/Fox

Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly)

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle is not a good movie. Even approached with the watered-down expectations that one brings to a late-September Hollywood sequel, Matthew Vaughn’s bespoke secret-agent follow-up is massively disappointing. More than that, it’s dispiriting — a too campy, tonally schizophrenic barrage of idiotic plot twists, wasted star cameos, and over-the-top gags that aren’t nearly as entertaining as their creators think they are. It’s rare to see so much thrown at the screen and so little of it sticking.”

Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)

“When does a good thing become too much of a good thing? When is enough enough? That’s the main question hovering over Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the spirited continuation of Matthew Vaughn’s disarmingly clever 2015 introduction of the bespoke-suited British secret agent that, as with many successful series before it, has already begun to err on the side of overkill with an unnecessarily long 141 minutes. Still, this fleet-footed, glibly imaginative international romp stays on its toes and keeps its wits about it most of the time, with entertaining and pointedly U.S.-friendly cast additions that should provide an uptick from the $414 million raked in worldwide by Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

Peter Debruge (Variety)

“It is all aggressively stylized, abusively fast-paced and ear-bleedingly loud, relying so heavily on CGI that nothing — not one thing — seems to correspond to the real world.”

Adi Robertson (The Verge)

“It’s never clear whether Kingsman: The Golden Circle is supposed to be more than the sum of these fights, or whether it’s just marking time by poking at raw political nerves in between. The filmmakers seem to know it doesn’t matter. Their strength lies in being distinctively fast, loud, and glib — and never letting the audience think too hard about what’s going on. The Golden Circle isn’t strong on brains or heart, but it has no shortage of guts.”

Matt Singer (ScreenCrush)

“The new characters and concepts don’t add a whole lot to a film is way too long and plodding in its middle act, but the returning heroes and giddily vulgar comedy and action are still good for some solid laughs and thrills.”

Jim Vejvoda (IGN)

“As an action film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle does not disappoint. From its opening gonzo car chase through London to its Bond-style alpine fight scene to its delirious final assault on the villains, the hyperbolic action sequences are as breathless, acrobatic, and in-your-face as the original’s.”

Robert Abele (The Wrap)

“It took the Bond series 15 years and 10 movies to get to the ridiculed Moonraker. The laddish spy franchise Kingsman: The Secret Service series, based on Mark Millar’s comic book, has done it in one leap with the bloated, inexplicably un-entertaining follow-up Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which also stars Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges, opens Friday.

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