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If Kingsman: The Secret Service's bold characters and use of humour helped set it apart from the crowd, so too did its action sequences. From the introduction of Jack Davenport's short-lived Lancelot, nonchalantly taking out a group of bad guys before having to split, to the church massacre set to the strains of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the final battle in Valentine's mountain lair which finally sees Eggsy earn his stripes, Vaughn and his second unit director, Brad Allan, crafted a string of kinetic, propulsive and exhilarating setpieces. Vaughn admits the challenge on The Golden Circle was not to simply repeat those moments. "We've got action sequences which are different," he says. "There are no exploding heads. Story made that sequence happen, and people enjoyed it because it was visually nuts, but there was a story behind that. So we have two or three sequences where the story has led me to some crazy, cool setpieces, but everything I try to do is for a reason."

Kingsman: The Golden Circle won't skimp on that patented Kingsman craziness, though, from an opening car chase in which Eggsy has to fight for his life in a Kingsman cab hurtling across London, to an all-out assault on Poppyland, and a barroom brawl which deliberately recalls the pub fight sequence from the first movie. "The fights are even more crazy," says Egerton. "But in terms of the setpieces, Matthew has tried to do different things. There's a sequence in the movie that has that hyper, one-shot feel, but you can't top the church scene. He'd rather move on and find something new."

Again, Vaughn is a stickler for doing as much of the stunts and action setpieces as practically as possible. "The planning that had to go into the car chase was incredible," says producer Adam Bohling. "We filmed a fair bit of that in London itself. We had to build two drift taxis that had never been built before."

Steven Warner, the special effects supervisor on the movie, further explains how that happened. "Matthew wanted the Kingsman taxi to be able to behave like a drifting racing car. So we had to build the cars, bespoke, from scratch. The body of the original taxi is on a bespoke chassis with Chevy V-8 engines and 680 brake horsepower. The stuntmen seemed to enjoy it!"

The director also drew upon personal experience for one of the other key action setpieces, where Eggsy and Whiskey go undercover in the Italian Alps and get more than they bargained for while taking a ride in a gondola-type ski lift that starts spinning wildly out of control. "These things spin around for real," says Vaughn, who got the idea while riding in a far more sedately-paced gondola on a family holiday. "I wondered what would happen if you started spinning around." The result is a furious and frenetic sequence that required Egerton and Pascal to actually go for a spin. "We produced a cable car which would spin up to thirty revolutions a minute," says Steven Warner. "So when you see the actors stuck to the wall, they really are stuck to the wall."

And Vaughn is planning to up the ante further, with a third instalment of the franchise that will take Eggsy, Kingsman, and the Statesmen on a brand new adventure. "I have a great idea for Kingsman 3," teases Vaughn. "And it'll take it to a level that no-one will guess. This movie sets up a lot of what will happen in Kingsman 3. That's where it all comes together. There's a whole new world waiting to explode..."


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