Stylish and smooth, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an incredibly immersive thriller about spies set in the sixties. Swinging sixties, I should add. I usually avoid reviewing these big movies because you’ve probably heard about them. And probably already seen them. However, this one is just so damn fine that I have to mention it. Directed by Guy Ritchie it’s more similar to his Sherlock Holmes franchise than any of his earlier work. And I mean that in a gimmicky way because here the atmosphere just overwhelms any other aspect of the movie. And this is the reason why I loved it so much.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a big-budget light spy movie, meaning it’s easy on the eye and the mind. This also means it has a great replay value, just hit play and you swoosh back to this easygoing vibe of the sixties. It reminded me of all those atmospheric French noir movies from the sixties and seventies. Only with a much more upbeat and entertaining story. At this point, I should tell you that this is based on a television series of the same name that ran back in the sixties. Haven’t watched a single episode of it, so I really cannot compare the two. What I will say is that this movie stands on its own and features a cohesive and engaging narrative.
Napoleon Solo is not only an ex-thief and a man with a cool-sounding name but also a CIA agent! His current mission is to rescue Gaby Teller, daughter of a famous Nazi scientist who’s now working with the American government. Of course, KGB is everywhere in the sixties and their agent Illya Kuryakin soon closes in on the couple. This is the same time that they all learn that there’s an imminent nuclear threat that they will have to deal with, together.
When it comes to obligatory comparisons to the James Bond series, I must say that The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is certainly no Bond, especially when it comes to action and the pacing. Bond movies definitely have better action and pacing while UNCLE is more cool and atmospheric. And both of these movies feature awesome and grand sets. I feel that this was Guy Ritchie’s self-indulgent movie, much like his last two The Gentlemen and Wrath of Man. Same as Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.
Finally, I just have to mention how good the cast was here. Cavill picked the role perfectly suited to his vibe and I also like Armie Hammer opposite of him. I will skip all the usual Alicia Vikander praises that you’re probably already bored of. I will just recommend you to check out Earthquake Bird, another highly immersive and intriguing movie starring one of my favorite actresses. It’s really slow and nothing much happens but I found it to be really refreshing and authentic. After all, it’s directed by Ridley Scott.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Sam Rolfe
Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Hugh Grant
Fun Facts: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer often performed their own stunts.
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1638355/