The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Out Now On-Demand
A higher class of hero.
A classic 1960s TV spy series gets the blockbuster treatment, written and directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes). Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) are slick Cold War agents from opposing sides forced to team up.
Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, centers on CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organisation, which is bent on destabilising the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo's only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organisation...
Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: M Violence
So this is what Guy Ritchie’s career looks like now. Coming off back-to-back juiced-up Sherlock Holmes reboots, Ritchie continues to carve a little niche for himself as the go-to-hack for resurrecting creaky properties for the ADD-afflicted modern age with this update of ‘60s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (next up: King Arthur).
But seen in the context of recent espionage actioners like his buddy Matthew Vaughn’s gleefully irreverent Kingsman: The Secret Service and Christopher McQuarrie’s sturdily crafted Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, this feels like a tossed-off piece of work, an instantly forgettable time-killer that’s destined to become this decade’s The Mod Squad remake.
It’s the kind of good-looking, glossily retro fluff that someone like Steven Soderbergh could engineer for maximum breeziness. But Ritchie’s too goddamn loud at every possible instance, disguising the glaring absence of danger and excitement with hyperactive zooms, split screens and Daniel Pemberton’s Schifrin/Morricone-aping score, which grows from moderately catchy to numbingly incessant over two hours.
There’s too much stock placed on Henry Cavill’s one-note, slick-suited schtick to carry the overly convoluted material, and his tit-for-tat rivalry with Armie Hammer’s temperamental KGB agent contains only the slightest traces of comedy. Silver lining: Ex Machina’s Alicia Vikander, whose plucky German car mechanic Gaby Teller joins Furiosa and Ilsa Faust, if to a lesser degree, as heroines in action franchises this year who don’t exist simply to operate as eye-candy sidekicks to their male co-stars.
Time Out London
Total Film (UK)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Action and Style
I did not want to like this film, because I am shallow and love Madonna and they are divorced. Yet despite my ridiculous bias Guy Ritchie totally won me over with this stylish, slick, funny, sexy action film. Great car chases and beautiful scenery ensure there is something for everyone.
Man From Almost Across the Line
Ritchie almost did it again - almost. Its hard to put a finger on it but he didn't quite pull this off - the characters are highly engaging and have great chemistry but the story didn't quite take off. Disappointing as it would have been great to see the three main characters develop further in another film.
A colourful, fun and stylish film, helped by some great casting - not to mention the beautiful locales and costumes that are must-haves in the spy genre. A little less of the laddish-ness that has defined much of Ritchie's other films was refreshing too.
I assume there's talk of a sequel, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well-told story that entertains you for a couple of hours.
Super Man from U.N.C.L.E.
This is a fun flick starring the man of steel as a super charming hotshot american agent who is reluctantly paired with the lone ranger this time a hotshot russian agent that kinda steals from all buddy/action flicks but in a satisfying way! (at least for me) It was light hearted, tongue in cheek self aware little number that didn't take itself too seriously and took me on a thrilling ride. I hope this movie does bank so I can see the sequel.....
Fresh from the '60s
And a bit of fun too. But what else would you expect from Guy Ritchie?
A nice attempt
The movie is quirky, and creative, with bold directional and stylistic choices. While it's style is to be commended, it's script never strays too far from the beaten path ensuring the storyline is a little stale, but nonetheless, enjoyable. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is hardly one of the best movies of the year, but deserves a watch from those who like action movies which are a little different from the rest.
Great night out
I haven't seen the TV series that this movie was based on but I really enjoyed the movie regardless. It had everything you want in a good spy movie and great performances by the lead actors, especially Cavill.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E = Stylish/sexy/humour/action
The Man from U.N.C.L.E film stands as Guy Ritchie's version of a prologue to the TV show from back in the 60s. As a fresh faced 20 year old, I have never seen the show and I doubt the rest of you have either. This doesn't make the film any less appealing or take away from the quality.
What makes this film stand out from the rest is the perfect combination of humour, style, comedy and action. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer do an outstanding job and complement each other effectively and humorously.
The film struggles with making the 'bad guys' have a sense of 'badguyism' Seemingly getting a bomb for the sake of getting a bomb, with no real direction or purpose I was unsure of any real threat they posed apart from owning a bomb. But apart from that I couldn't fault the film, Guy Ritchie has come far since the two Sherlock films and in my opinion this really is a cut above the rest.
Check it out if you can, it's well worth the watch.
Brendan de Vere
U.N.C.L.E. is C.O.O.L.
I had heard of the 60's television show, 'The Man from UNCLE', but like most of us who are under the age of 60, never saw an episode. All I could go on in this case was the words of my mother who stated, "I used to watch that as a kid back in the 60's. It starred.......oh what's his name..........Robert Vaughan." Of course my mother couldn't remember the name of the other actor who formed the second half of the dynamic duo but I think she was just happy that something from her childhood was being reborn in the 21st Century.
This is a good movie with the star of the show undoubtedly being Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) who seems to be the go to director when Hollywood need a relic dug up and brought back to life. His trademark is left everywhere on this film, from the retro setting to the catchy score that complimented the movie from beginning to end. His ability take the viewer back to the recent past resulted in a entertaining ride. Ritchie found the right balance of subtle amusement, whity banter and fun action that lasted throughout the entire film, engrossing the audience in the world of light-hearted espionage.
We are introduced to the to main protagonists, CIA agent, Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative, Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer), who team up to foil the attempts by a mysterious organisation to profit in nuclear weapons and technology in a time where the big superpowers are in a tense arms race. To infiltrate the organisation they must rely on the daughter of a German Scientist, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), who is much more than what she seems.
Guy Ritchie takes a gamble on his two leading men, both heavily criticised for their big breakout roles in the near past but it has payed off as Cavill and Hammer connect well with each other. The two secret agents continually try to get a head of each other, mimicking their own countries need for superiority over the other. Solo and Kuryakin are a sort of odd couple with Cavill's ladies man combining comfortably with Hammer's short tempered "psychopath" that put their differences aside for the greater good.
The magnificent fashion is a standout with both Vikander and the she-wolf, Elizabeth Debicki shining in their retro wardrobes. Both stand-up well to Cavill and Hammer, giving the film an even balance. Whether it was a ploy by Guy Ritchie to have a very even talent of actors in the film or it just happened that way has worked perfectly. His use of Hugh Grant in a cameo appearance was brilliant and the big goof actually puts in a very believable performance.
This is a film to enjoy for what it is......a good ride. Taking it too seriously would damage the experience.
The Man From U.N.C.O.O.L???
The man from U.N.C.O.O.L? On the contrary, the excess of style, class, and imagination in The Man From U.N.C.L.E makes Guy Ritchie’s latest film worth more than the price of admission. The film delivers on numerous fronts; combining spectacular visuals, entertaining story, and of course, some fabulous 60’s fashion.
To an extent the overarching plot feels somewhat clichéd with a more than typical series of spy movie twists and turns. It is, however, a beautiful blend of subtlety and overt absurdity: “it’s so overt, it’s covert.” Unlike so many modern movies, the Man From U.N.C.L.E is severely hindered by its unconventional and overstated storytelling; the kind that demands imagination. The story is multi-faceted and well-paced, rather than a great jumble of events loosely strung together with artistic liberty. In part the plot is predictable, yet not so much as to ruin its narrative and overall entertainment.
It is true that the film has an easily forgettable villain (a seemingly typical 2015 trait), however the focus is primarily on the chemistry between main characters. Henry Cavill (Solo) and Armie Hammer (Kuryakin) give delightful performances as enemies-come-partners and the playful competition between them brings a quirky sense of character to the film; along with its aptly overstated score.
Your expectations going into this movie will decide the degree to which you enjoy it. While it requires no knowledge of the original 60’s show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E pays homage to a different era of film, and includes overtones of Robert Redford and Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, amongst other classics. What it lacks in action and undercover spookery it makes up for tenfold in humour; and not just cheap gags and throwaway quips at that.
So the verdict? That’s up to you. For an action packed ride with a slightly more convoluted storyline then I would recommend going to see the equally jovial Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. However if you’ve been dying for an excuse to wear your three-piece-suit to the cinema then by all means take a bottle, a picnic; and enjoy the show.