The Man from U.N.C.L.E. might just be the coolest spy film ever.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
**In theaters August 14th*
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. might just be the coolest spy film ever; giving James Bond reason to be shaken if not stirred. Director Guy Ritchie perfectly capture the clothes, style, music, and story of the Cold War era 1960's. His cast perform expertly under his leadership and that is the element that raises this one to the top.
American agent Solo (Henry Cavill) likes to live up to his name. He is a suave, one man-show who is able to tackle the most intense situation with a calm, cool, effortless swagger. When he has to team up with KGB operative Illya (Armie Hammer) it is not an easy adjustment. Illya is focused, lives by the book, and may be a tad unstable. But the two must work together to find and defuse a nuclear missile that has fallen into the wrong hands. Textbook Cold War spy fodder.
This if the type of film that not only captures lightening in a bottle but harnesses it and forges it into explosive cinematic energy. The balance of well choreographed action, smartly written dialogue, and perfectly placed humor give the movie a rhythm that never misses a beat. Just when you think you are about to be out of breath from an edge of your seat action sequence they slow it down, offer up some witty exchange and settle into the next act.
But looks aren't everything (sorry, Henry) and you need a solid story to match the visuals. No problem here. The script uses all those iconic Cold War events to its advantage. Everyone was concerned about the bomb and every country wanted control. No one was completely honest or trustworthy. It was this desire that drove politics then and helps catapult this story forward here. The concept of American working side by side with Russian in that era was unimaginable. And the characters play that up nicely.
The casting is another thing that could have been a negative element. Finding the right men to fill these shoes and make the conflict believable was important. They had to not only be able to deliver the spy goods but with this script be witty and sharp tongued; all while staying in character. It had to be seamless and believable. Like everything else in this film it was spot on.
Having never seen the original TV show I cant speak to how or if it paid respects. I am not sure it was needed though. Die hard fans of the series could try and nit pick this one apart but in doing so might miss out on all the fun.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity. It is void of any bad language and the suggestive content is restricted to a 20 second episode. I give it 4.75 out of 5 hidden bugs. It is smart, sexy, spy vs spy cool.
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle
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