(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a decent spy movie that had a cool old school flavor to it, and some decent twists to make this movie watchable, however there was a lot of slow and dead scenes where it made the movie drag on too much.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
I will start by saying i have never seen or heard of the old school tv show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. So I really did not know what to expect or see if it is nostalgic or not. As this movie appeared, the premise seemed very intriguing where a US and a Soviet Russian spy in the 60’s have to work together to stop a bomb from destroying the world. Cliched for a spy movie, but still interesting. The two actors are a little subpar for a summer movie. You have Henry Cavill who is really known as Superman at this point playing the American spy, Napoleon Solo, and Armie Hammer, who has been in a lot of movie duds as of late (Lone Ranger just to name one), playing the Russian spy, Illya Kuryakin. I found it funny that an American is playing a Russian, and a non-American is playing an American, but as I said before, it is intriguing enough for me to watch.
What I Like: From the beginning of the movie you hear a nice 50’s jazz beat which really sets the tone for the style this movie is going to be. I personally enjoyed this tone and style, because i know this movie was going to be cool and smooth, Director Guy Ritchie really did a good job on creating that type of tone which I thoroughly enjoyed. I guess I enjoyed the soundtrack of this movie, because of the different vibe it gave me, and really relaxes me to enjoy the show. I also enjoyed seeing the old school European setting with the cars from the 50’s and 60’s and enjoying an old school car chase. The movie had the action of the old James Bond movies which can be pretty nostalgic. The character I enjoyed the most in this movie was Napoleon Solo, played by Henry Cavill. From the beginning, he was a cool, calm, and collected person that showed a lot of charisma as the stereotypical American. (Like a Tony Stark like character, but more of a spy.) I thought Cavill played the role very well, and turned out to be a very likable guy. The movie had some comedic moments which almost always was about comparing American to Russian ways of spying. Like seeing the guys argue about who has the better methods and equipment. The one scene that showcase that type of behavior is when they both broke in to a shipping yard to find information, and the disagreements and their technology always sparked a funny exchange. Probably my favorite part is when Illya Kuryakin, played by Armie Hammer, decided to take on the security forces by boat, while Napoleon gets out of the boat, finds a car, eats their sandwich, and watches Illya fight until he almost drowns, and was saved by Napoleon. That scenes was crafted masterfully. It had a lot of good twists in the movie, most notably when the girl that is helping the guys, Gaby Teller, played by Alicia Vikander, screws them over at first but it ended up that she is working for British government MI6, headed by Alexander Waverly, played by Hugh Grant. The last part where Napoleon manages to get the villain to stay on the phone line long enough to see her location and send the non nuclear bomb to kill her and destroy the real deadly bomb. Shows how smart Napoleon is, and that he is capable of doing great things under pressure.
The So So: Armie Hammer playing Illya was interesting. I liked how they showed how strong and powerful he really is with the Soviet Russian cockiness. However, hearing Hammer’s Russian accent was hard to understand sometimes which begs the question, whether he did the accent bad or he really was that good with it? I liked how he had to control his temper while being undercover and seeing him fail was amusing to watch. The story of the movie is a little cliched for a spy movie. i mean they needed to stop a bomb, how many movies have done that angle. What was intriguing that an American and a Soviet Russian in the 60’s had to work together even though they are big time enemies with their respective countries. The animosity towards one another was fun to watch, and showed how some of the strongest enemies can open up and be friends somewhat. Even though it set up a not so tense moment of who retrieves the disk with all the secrets of the created nuclear bomb. Instead it just became a bromance and decided nobody deserves it. A missed opportunity in my book.
What I Didn’t Like: There were a lot of dull moments in this movie. There were times where I was like, ok let’s move this along, cuz of how boring it got. It really made the movie drag and flow well. It really tried hard to be a James Bond like conversations, but the writing in their dialogue just really didn’t have the interest for me to care. At least the action sequences were good enough to make this movie watchable. The main villain of the movie, Victoria Vinciguerra played by Elizabeth Debicki, was a forgettable villain. She wasn’t menacing enough, and all she really did was flirt with Napoleon to get what she needed. When the bomb kills her, I really didn’t care, and that’s bad for a movie villain. You want them to be remembered, even after their deserved death. In the end, the movie just speedily sets up for possible sequels, and calling themselves U.N.C.L.E. which they don’t describe why it is called that way or what it means. The most annoying part is why they call the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when it involves two men. Shouldn’t it be called Men from U.N.C.L.E.? I don’t know, thought the movie title is misleading, and only a fan from the 60’s show would know.
Overall: The movie is a decent watch for the spy thriller fans, but it wasn’t great or on par with the James Bond movie. It sets up for a sequel, but judging by the box office results it probably won’t happen. At least for Cavill he has the DC universe to play Superman in. As for Hammer, I’m concerned that he will make a great movie after dud after dud. Maybe he is not cut out for the action role, but we’ll see!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars