Monday, June 13, 2016

Movie review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

Inspired by the 1960's TV series, this Cold War thriller set in the 60's brings together CIA Agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin. With a global crime cartel threatening the world, Solo and Kuryakin must work together to save the world. Can they do so while also following their own secret agendas?

Henry Cavill (Solo), Armie Hammer (Illya), Alicia Vikander (Gaby), Elizabeth Debicki (Victoria), Luca Calvani (Alexander), Sylvester Groth (Uncle Rudi), Hugh Grant (Waverly), Jared Harris (Sanders), Christian Berkel (Udo).

The Man from U.N.C.L.E reminds me very much of the original series, of which I was a casual fan. Here we have Solo and Kuryakin put together to save Gaby as she defects to West Germany, after which the three find themselves working together against a global threat. The rest of the film is action, adventure, and spies being spies with their own hidden agendas bubbling to the surface. Though the plot may be a bit worn, this feels like a nice reboot of the series which ends well and leaves room for future films.

Acting was good from Cavill who presented well and seemed to have good energy with others. Hammer on the other hand almost felt detached from his role at times, and whomever thought he could deliver an accent made a huge mistake. Vikander was enjoyable but more character development would have helped. Debicki was a nice nemesis, and the remainder of the cast was solid.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are well done and nicely recreate the 60's Cold War era. Action scenes were enjoyable, perfectly fitting for the film, and realistic for the most part. Dialogue was solid with good depth. Sound and soundtrack were mild but appropriate.

At the end of the day The Man from U.N.C.L.E is an enjoyable spy action thriller that fits pretty well with the original series. If you like a good spy action film you may enjoy this one. I think of it as a James Bond film without the steroids.

With some partial nudity, sexually suggestive content, and fairly graphic violence this actually should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 6.4.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Spy Action & Adventure, Spy Thriller, Espionage Action, Action & Adventure, Movies based on a TV series

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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