The Man from U.N.C.L.E. delivers action

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

Release Date: August 14, 2015

Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Rated PG-13

Grade: B

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Written by Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram


Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo

Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin

Alicia Vikander as Gaby Teller

Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria Vinciguerra

Jared Harris as Saunders

Hugh Grant as Alexander Waverly

Luca Calvani as Alexander

Sylvester Groth as Uncle Rudi

What I’m about to feed you, Solo, may taste a little bitter.

In the 1960’s, Napoleon Solo is an art aficionado who was convicted of stealing great works of art. The CIA realized that Solo’s skills would be wasted in prison so they recruited him in exchange for his prison sentence. While Solo is investigating the disappearance of a nuclear scientist, he is tailed by Illya Kuryakin from the KBG. After an adventurous chase, Solo escapes with the daughter of the scientist. To the surprise of Solo and Kuryakin, they are ordered to work together to stop an international criminal organization with an atom bomb. With a determined Gaby Teller (the scientist’s daughter), the two agents infiltrate their target’s home. Solo uses his power of seduction on the suspect, Victoria, while Kuryakin and Teller attempt to find Gaby’s father through her Uncle Rudi. America teaming up with Russia? Things could get a little messy.

We have no choice, but to work together to infiltrate this organization.

2015 is definitely the year of spy films. Kingsman: The Secret Service, Spy, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Spectre are the features from this genre for the year. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. fits nicely in the high quality spy film list, yet manages to stand out due to Guy Ritchie’s unique brand of creativity. The story is intriguing and not only pays homage to the 1960s TV series, but also uncovers the back story of how Solo and Kuryakin came to work together in the first place. With a multitude of actors and actresses considered for the top three roles, I think that Cavill, Hammer, and Vikander were the absolute perfect choices as evidenced by their very entertaining chemistry and ability to improvise during some of the scenes. Cavill’s cool confidence sets the pace for the dialogue while Hammer’s obvious controlled anger seeps through his impeccable German accent, cold stares, and twitchy body movements. Vikander’s ability to portray innocence with pure determination compliments the trio’s ability to command the majority of the scenes. To drive the story home, Debicki’s stylishly evil presence as the antagonist is fiendishly clever. The vintage set design and costumes in addition to the unique camerawork and soundtrack boost the overall effect of Ritchie’s vision. I must say that I am looking forward to more installments in this potential franchise so go see it! ~Movie Buffette

Warner Brothers Pictures teams up with Director Guy Ritche for an indelible film about the origins of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.).  Henry Cavill is The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He is cool and commanding as Napoleon Solo and such a contrast to Armie Hammer’s character Illya Kuryakin, who struggles to keep his temper in check. They are joined by Alicia Vikander as Gaby Teller.  The trio provide eye candy for the entire audience.  Cavill is mesmerizing with those blue eyes and Hammer’s height is striking. The 1960s set design is elegant.  The film is pure Guy Ritchie with the split scene actions sequences and close attention to detail such as the inner workings of a mechanical safe.  He and cinematographer John Mathieson bring forth a film that is almost spartan in the opening sequence set in East Berlin, but reward the viewer with lavish set designs for the scenes in Italy.  I really enjoyed this film. In a summer full of one tent-pole movie after another, I appreciated sitting back and watching the character development as Richie introduced many of us to a new spy organization. . ~A.S. MacLeod

I have to admit, I was a little worried about ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ when I first started seeing trailers. First off, I didn’t really grow up on the TV show, so the source material isn’t that familiar. Second, although Henry Cavil found success with ‘Man of Steel’, neither he, nor Armie Hammer (‘The Social Network’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’) are proven box office draws. I have a feeling things may change after this!!!

So, I went into it skeptical, but I’ve been a HUGE Guy Ritchie fan ever since ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’. Both films had the style of a cool Scorsese or Tarantino film. And of course I LOVED what Ritchie did with ‘Sherlock Holmes’, and was happy that he found commercial success with that franchise. For me, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ is the perfect blend of both cool style, and (hopefully) mass appeal.

Ritchie was able to capture the “feel” of the early 60’s, with an almost “white-washed” tone to the film. It had the muted colors, but brightness of The Zapruder Film… I know, kind of a morbid frame of reference, but I think accurate… the look of the film, married with an incredibly accurate wardrobe and era appropriate music, makes the film almost look like it was shoot along with the original TV series.

Speaking of which, you do NOT have to have seen the TV series to know what’s going on. To me, that’s a really important quality for a movie based on an old TV show. Honestly, I’ve only seen one episode of “U.N.C.L.E.” in my life. It had no bearing on how I viewed the movie what-so-ever. In fact, I’m actually glad I had nothing to compare it to, because it really does, in my opinion, stand on it’s own.

The performances by both Cavil and Hammer were impressive. I’m relieved to know that Cavil doesn’t have to be “Superman” for the rest of his life (if he doesn’t want to), and glad to know the failure of ‘The Lone Ranger’ doesn’t fall on Hammer (I’m looking at you Depp!!!). Also, relative newcomer Alicia Vikander held her own, perfectly balancing out her two leading men.

To me, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ is easy to recommend. The story is really good, with not so many twists and turns that it’s impossible to follow. The writing is solid. The acting is on point. Finally the overall feel, especially the soundtrack, is perfect for the period.

If you have the interest, check out ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ at the theatre. It’s too good not to see on the big screen!!!

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About Leigh Ann Rassler

october, 2021