Thursday, 13 August 2015

Movie Review - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

   I'm not familiar with the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series so my expectations on the film would be spy missions done old school.  There's a difference though with the elaborate improbable gadgetry and just low tech devices.  There's at least one laser used and there's no transforming vehicles.  A whole lot of banter going on, all said with a straight face.

   American spy Napoleon Solo has to team up with Russian agent Illya Kuryakin to stop the threat of a nuclear attack.  A female contact further complicates matters as they go undercover to thwart the bomb threat.

   Guy Ritchie is known for using a lot of cuts to move the scene along in his films.  There's quick flashbacks to help increase the tension and driving beats to add more atmosphere.  The movie is shot in a very distinct stylized look, a filter that keeps with the decade but with a modern, flashy cinematography.  There's ample action, not limited to hand-to-hand but also chases, gunplay and stealth missions.  

   Henry Cavill as Solo is a gentleman spy, very composed, charming and suave.  He projects a cool manner but is deadpan to the point that he gives away very little.  As charismatic as he is in the story, he feels devoid of character.  Armie Hammer had a more emotional as he tries to keep his rage in check.  He may have for facets to his personality but he is almost reduced to a comedic element instead of a competent partner.  The pair's antagonistic relationship has a bias as the Russian agents gets the worst of the mission mishaps but they still have a lot of humorous moments nonetheless.  The third wheel is the overbearing firecracker actress Alicia Vikander added to increase sexual tension.  The awkward fake affair is the source of a lot of mirth, if almost unnecessary to the plot.

   The villains were a mixed bag as one faded into the background, another had the look and attitude but just wasn't as effective.  One underling satisfied the role as a classic spy villain, however short the tenure is.

   There seems to be nothing wrong with each scene, loaded with banter or thrilling suspense.  But taken all together, it doesn't seem to add to much in the end as the trio don't quite gel together as they could have.  Maybe it's the Cold War aspect?  Too stoic and standoff ish to break their cool facades. Perhaps their follow up would thaw their icy exteriors.  It's a fun distraction at least.

2 comments:

  1. I thought this looked great! I miss spy movies that aren't brooding.

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    1. I was pretty excited when I first saw the trailer so my expectations were pretty high. It was just ok with me though. Maybe cuz I don't know how the original went, like was Solo suppose to be like that or how angry Illya was and all that.

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