Pedro Pascal Whips You Into Shape in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’
Mar 12, 2023
Pedro Pascal takes on fatherly duties underneath galactic armor in The Mandalorian or by presenting a stern-faced, ruggedness in The Last of Us. Before these noble feats, he spent time as a baddie in Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), a sequel that didn’t hit all the marks but did right in Pascal’s casting. His character of Statesman agent Whiskey is one cool cowboy, who will use a lasso to tie up, fling, or slice enemies in half. If it isn’t obvious, unlike Mando or Joel, agent Whiskey has a genuine love for getting into a cutthroat brawl. He sure ain’t the American Patriot he believes himself to be, so you better not cross him.
What Is ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ About?
It begins with a bang, literally. Nearly all Kingsman operations and personnel are destroyed, forcing survivors Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) into retreating to the United States to team up with the Statesman, their American spy counterpart. Channing Tatum gets a cameo, Halle Berry hangs back by the surveillance monitors, and Jeff Bridges mostly swigs alcohol, leaving Pascal’s agent Whiskey as the lone Statesman to partner with Eggsy to stop a new supervillain plot by Poppy (Julianne Moore). The resurrection of presumed-dead Harry (Colin Firth) complicates a mission that can lead to the deaths of millions should the Kingsman and Statesman fail. No pressure!
The sequel has so much going on, from the ensemble actors to different character motives and backstabbings, this sequel comes out overstuffed. It’s like bringing an extra pair of Statesman revolvers when you only have two holsters, a juggling act for sure. Poppy is a drug kingpin behaving like a 50s housewife, tainting drugs on a global scale to cause a blue rash, erratic dancing, paralysis, and death, in that order. Addicts, first-time, and recreational users are under threat, but Poppy’s plan isn’t meant to bring about genocide, it’s leverage to gain absolute control over her cartel. What she doesn’t count on is the U.S. President’s (Bruce Greenwood) delight in letting the users die off, bringing a rapid end to his war on drugs. Eggsy can’t go into the field by himself to deal with all of this. And while The Golden Circle goes big with maybe too much at stake, it does right by agent Whiskey.
Image Via 20th Century Fox
Pedro Pascal Is a Badass Newcomer
“Manners maketh man. Let me translate that for you.” Agent Whiskey (full name Jack Daniels) doesn’t leave much time for a pause after the line, jumping into a saloon bar fight to deliver a severe beatdown over rowdy, beer-breathed, homophobic rednecks. He gets several more fight sequences with the signature Kingsman element of frantic cinematography to bring audiences into the duels. There’s a playful side that comes so easily to Pascal — watch any of his interviews to see it — which isn’t lost in playing Whiskey, turning him into a worthy new character to stand beside the Kingsman agents. Whip skills are ingrained in Pascal from his time filming, the actor relying on muscle memory to crack a whip like a pro on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — Harrison Ford better watch out, there’s some competition out there. This playfulness to Whiskey, which Pascal hikes up to cocky levels, is in contrary to the grave seriousness of the recent roles.
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Whiskey Is the Opposite of Joel and Mando
The Secret Service (2014) invents its own take on the coolness of James Bond by introducing Harry, a distinguished English gentleman who knows how to beat the crap out of everyone until a surprise bullet to the head takes him out. Golden Circle brings Harry back from the dead, making sure to keep him from regaining his old skills too fast, allowing Whiskey to step up to the plate, the character being a throwback to a classic Wild West, gunslinger cowboy. At the snowy Italian Alps, the Kingsman and Statesman are under attack, and not helping matters is when Harry’s fractured mind stalls both him and Eggsy. Whiskey takes care of business, going in solo to massacre Poppy’s henchmen, firing off revolvers to shatter skulls or blow off limbs. Running out of bullets doesn’t mean it’s time to retreat. He pulls out his best weapon by far, an electrified lasso that can slice a guy in half with deadly accuracy. Whiskey’s cocky, good-ole-boy personality is definitely in extreme contrast to Pascal’s recent roles. Mando and Joel are forced to endure tough fights for survival, whereas Whiskey thrives on it.
The Statesman agent leaves no time to consider quoting Mando, “I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.” Nor does Whiskey feel the need to reflect on who he hurts like Joel. Whiskey isn’t worried about the morals in harming his opponents, after the bar beat down he even quips, “Whew, I feel like a tornado in a trailer park.” It’s a clever, telling line. A trailer park is hardly durable enough to withstand a ferocious funnel, leaving behind immense damage in its heedless path. On a Fujita scale, Whiskey comes damn near close to producing the damage of an F5 tornado.
Image Via 20th Century Fox
Pedro Pascal Will Be a Baddie to the End
Once Golden Circle eliminates Poppy, the Kingsman must deal with the ally-turned-rogue agent Whiskey. He isn’t working for Poppy, just like he isn’t working for the U.S. President. When Eggsy dares accuse him of such, Whiskey snaps back, “That asshole!?” No, this Statesman has another motive for letting the blue rash-infected drugs do their thing. His pregnant, high school sweetheart was killed during a drug user’s robbery gone bad, a painful, long-held contempt causing Whiskey to lose sight of what the aftermath would be to losing millions of lives. Many others will lose their own sweethearts, too.
The final fight gets the vivacious camera flying again, in every angle to capture all the close calls. Whiskey is nearly undefeatable, as he takes on two Kingsman agents at the same time. However, Eggys and Harry ultimately come out on top, meaning you can say goodbye to Whiskey’s beautiful face. He won’t be back in any future sequel after getting tossed into Poppy’s meat grinder.
Whiskey’s character paints the colors of the American flag in all the wrong ways. The red is in the ground meat from his up close and personal encounter with Poppy’s industrial grinder. Blue is a toss-up between the blue rash disease and his electrified, lightning-like lasso. As for his morals, he may claim otherwise, but they are the opposite of pure, white intentions. Whiskey is as much of a spectacle as the action set pieces are to the Kingsman movies, coming in big, oozing Southern charm and high-testosterone, and going out big for a gnarly demise.
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