England's favorite spies — that are very much not named James Bond — are back on the big screen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. With a new villain threatening the livelihood of the Kingsman and forcing them out of their beloved home country to team up with their American brethren, they definitely need all the help they can get to eradicate this new threat. Getting help in this case requires resurrecting Harry (played by Colin Firth) so he can help save the day. In bringing the character back, Kingsman 2 uses CGI for young Harry in a sequence that's meant to help bring the spy out of his amnesia. The CGI that's deployed is pretty darn good, not to mention a necessary reminder that Firth has always been and will continue to be an ageless hot guy. Spoilers ahead for Kingsman 2.
If you can cast your mind back to the first Kingsman film, you may recall that Harry was thought to be killed by the film's villain, Valentine. After the epic fight in the church, where Harry was being controlled via Valentine's technology, it seemed like a pretty final exit for the fan-favorite. But alas, that's not exactly the holding pattern for Kingsman 2, where Eggsy and Merlin go through a very intensive process to resurrect Harry and also relieve him of the amnesia clouding his mind and preventing him from being an effective member of the team.
After getting Harry awake and somewhat back on his feet, it's clear he's having trouble connecting to his old self; the amnesia is too strong. So, Eggsy decides to take the very drastic measure of jogging Harry's memory about being a Kingsman by putting him through the dog test that all Kingsman are put through in order to join their ranks. Eggsy puts together a ruse wherein he buys a dog as a goodbye gift for Harry and, while giving it to him, pulls a gun on the dog and threatens to shoot it.
This jarring moment has the desired effect Eggsy was hoping for when he drunkenly decided he was going to do it. Harry's memories begin to resurface and in the process, audiences are taken back in time to see a young Harry originally being asked to shoot his dog that he went through Kingsman training with. The CGI used to age Firth down is notable, of course, but it's certainly not as jarring as other notable examples of CGI used to either age older characters down in flashback sequences or even resurrect characters who have passed away. Sure, his wrinkles were smoothed out and it's pretty clear that it's not just Firth with some damn good stage makeup, but it's a good effort from the CGI team nonetheless.
The same can't be said for the other notable examples that spring to mind in instances like these. Perhaps the most infamous instance in recent memory of aging down an actor through poor CGI is Robert Downey Jr.'s appearance as a 20-something in Captain America: Civil War. There, Downey Jr. was CGI'd to look young but in doing so, when he appeared up close and personal in the foreground of the scene where the CGI version of him appears, it looked so fake and unnatural that it's pretty tough not to get distracted.
Luckily, Firth and his younger CGI self pass the sniff test here as the film resurrects the beloved Harry. Even though Harry's return to Kingsman 2 was always planned, watching him actually get resurrected (however far-fetched the methodology may be) and live to off another supervillain is worth the CGI trickery it takes to make it happen.