Man From UNCLE (2015) – ★ ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Based on the 1960s television series of the same name, comes Guy Ritchie’s film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I have never seen the show, but was intrigued by the trailer. Guy Ritchie of course has risen to fame based on his stylish filmmaking, but of his films I’ve only seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes films. I keep meaning to watch Snatch and RockNRolla, but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to either of them. I think it took me fifteen years to see Lock, Stock… so hey, I’m still on schedule.
All I really knew about UNCLE was that it was about two spies, one American and one Soviet (it is set in the ’60s so it was still the USSR remember), other than that, the trailer was what hooked me on the film. Actually it wasn’t the trailer, it was (possibly Comic-con or IMDb released) footage of the first car chase that I saw. Yeah, it was a fun chase so I wanted to give the rest of the film a try too. So the first of our two spies sees Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo, an American agent who at the close of WWII began to steal art treasures for his own personal gain. As a plea bargain to cut short his prison sentence he was forced into the CIA where he became one of their top agents. The second spy is Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, a top KGB agent, who has worked his way up the ranks to atone for the crimes of his father and avoid the shame he has brought to his family. We’re introduced to both as Solo helps an East German asset (Alicia Vikander) across the Berlin Wall in that car chase I mentioned. Starting as enemies, the two are brought together and put on the same team as they must help find the girl’s father who has been kidnapped and forced to work on a nuclear weapon for some remaining Nazis. Thrills and chases, witticisms and fights abound as the odd couple good guys try to get along in order to save the world.
Was it a good movie? I went in originally thinking it wouldn’t be good, but that UNCLE would still be entertaining. Fortunately I was wrong on the first point, and it was a pretty good movie. The story may not have presented many challenges to the viewer, but it certainly did entertain. I have no idea if Cavill and Hammer played the characters as their television predecessors Robert Vaughn and David McCallum did some fifty years ago, but I am now interested in seeing some of the original show and hopeful that more UNCLE movies will be made. We could use a nice light hearted spy franchise on the screens for several years to come.
The performances all around were good, including Alicia Vikander, who was the robot lead in Ex Machina, and seems to be in the middle of a very big year for her career. The 1960s look really worked well with Ritchie’s style. I thought that his Holmes films looked a little too fake, too green screened and too stylish, but that same method this time makes everything look brilliantly and authentically sixties. If you’re looking for an exciting little action romp to pass the night, check The Man From U.N.C.L.E. out.
Bottom Line: Hey look! I finally did a movie review again! Maybe I can do some more…
Posted on 15-11-17, in 4 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer, David McCallum, Guy Ritchie, Henry Cavill, Illya Kuryakin, Man From UNCLE, Napoleon Solo, Robert Vaughn. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.