The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. [2015]
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. [2015] is the new film from Guy Ritchie, directing again four years later after Sherlock Holmes.  In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.  Despite working for different countries, Solo and Kuryakin must put aside their natural hostilities and work together to stop the evildoers in their tracks.  Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Dibecki, and Alicia Vikander join the two leads in this very fun spy movie.

Superman v Lone Ranger.  What really makes this film work are Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.  It may sound like a bland pair on paper, but onscreen they have great chemistry and a fun rapport together.  Cavill radiates the charm and charisma that was certainly needed in Man of Steel (2013) and Hammer sells every second of his ridiculous Russian accent, effectively wiping away any bad taste he left in The Lone Ranger (2013).  They work so well together that it made me want a sequel, just to see more of these characters in whatever wacky adventure they have set up.

I like the sound of funky music.   Also worth mentioning are the great sets, costume details, and the groovy soundtrack.  Combined, they give the sensation that this was filmed in the ‘60s.  The attention to detail in the sets and costumes are impeccable, making it very easy to immerse you in the film.  And Guy Ritchie’s camera work is solid, as usual.  His best film, for me, is still Snatch (2000) (check it out if you haven’t already) but U.N.C.L.E. is a nice addition to his filmography.  Not bad for a guy who directed Madonna’s epic Swept Away (2002) (don’t check it out).

Not as good as Rogue Nation. For all of U.N.C.L.E’s positive qualities, it lacks the inventiveness of something like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) or even Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015).  Don’t get me wrong; there’s still a lot of fun to be had with this breezy throwback to spy films of the ‘60s like James Bond.  No buildings or skyscrapers get blown up, and a blue stream of light doesn’t shoot up to the sky.  It’s a light-hearted summer movie that I enjoyed, but had trouble remembering two days later.  Whether that’s my problem or the movie’s is up in the air.  All I can say is that this is certainly worth a viewing, but maybe there’s one or two more spy flicks to check out first.

Not the best movie of the summer, but still a fun trip to the theater.
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