It’s time for another D&D Mixed Review. This time Derek and Denis will be looking at the newest film based upon a old TV franchise, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The review will be split into four categories; PLOT, PERFORMANCE, PRODUCTION and OVERALL FILM QUALITY. The review will then end with a score of SEE IN THEATRES, WAIT FOR STREAMING or PASS.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. takes place during the Cold War, with both America and Russia trying to one up each other in technology and nuclear arms. However, the rivalry is put aside once a third party, with ties to former Nazis, tries to develop a nuclear bomb.
So the USA and Russia send their two best agents; Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to investigate and find a nuclear device. The two go undercover with in Rome with the help of a German born mechanic Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) and a English spy Alexander Waverly (Hugh Grant).
It seems kind of refreshing to see a film that doesn’t have the burden of hitting certain checkmarks in it’s story. It’s because of this that U.N.C.L.E. turns out to be such a fun film. While the plot moves a little too quickly for you to reflect on anything that’s happening, there aren’t any major gaps in logic. That being said, the plot in the end gets lost by the film impressive visuals and production…and Cavill’s manly jawline…wait did I type that?
The plot is thankfully not too complex or convoluted and any confusion is cleared up often with flashy flashbacks that help clear things up. But generally is a simple throwback spy movie that instead of focusing on one mans hunt for an evil figure, U.N.C.L.E. adds in a buddy cop element that makes the movie as a whole feel a bit refreshing. I wouldn’t aim to compare it with other spy movies since that doesn’t seem to be the films goal. It’s a buddy cop flick that follows the pacing, style and form of a spy movie. And that made a delicious combination.
So here’s my question, Why is Cavill doing Superman and not this character? Despite there being parts of his Superman performance that are great, Cavill seems so at home in the 60s shoes of Napoleon Solo. He’s swave, he’s funny and doesn’t end up coming off as a lame James Bond knock-off. The same could be said for Hammer who ends up stealing many of the scenes with his characters angery outbursts and odd social cues. In fact, the whole cast is excellent, and while they all seem to play into certain stereotypes non of them were offensive or felt out of place.
Ummm, yea. The cast is great and they all seem to feel comfortable in their characters shoes. It feels like a movie the everyone had fun making. I would like to say more, but I can’t.
While U.N.C.L.E. doesn’t have the pedigree of the Mission Impossible franchise, this film features some of the most impressive cinematography and editing I’ve seen since Mad Max: Fury Road. Director Guy Richie along with his Director of Photography John Mathieson put together some interesting angles and shots that range from flashy action scenes to even letting the comedy of the scene play out in the background. There work is then crafted by the films editor James Herber who makes every action scene easy to follow, but fast enough to keep you on edge for what was coming next. Add on top of this some great costumes, sets and a soundtrack that sounds a lot like my Spotify playlist and U.N.C.L.E. ends up being a sexy looking film. That being said, it’s clear that there was a focus on the films flash, and as a result U.N.C.L.E. doesn’t come off with the same weight as something like Skyfall.
The reason that cast had fun with their roles was probably due to Guy Richie having fun also. His creative style and flash are on display and they work well in a spy film like this. Every aspect of the films aesthetic and mood felt on the mark. Also their was some great fashion and design. Oh girlfriend! It was sexy as a Channing Tatum and Henry Cavill sandwich.
U.N.C.L.E. is a great film. It’s fun, fast and will keep your attention glued to the screen. However, if I had to describe the film, I’d call it Chinese food. It’s amazing for the time your eating it, you kind of need more 30 minutes later. While the plot is fast moving it lacks the teeth that something like a modern Bond movie have. Despite this, U.N.C.L.E. is a must see for just about anyone. SEE IN THEATRES
I’m not going to type out Uncle again with all the dots and crap because I’m tired. But this movie is a jolt of action comedy fun. See what I did there. It was a fun and enjoyable combination of ideas and styles that made me more than excited to catch another viewing when it comes out on home video. If you like Ernest movies, and crying in the desert than don’t see this movie. Everyone else, SEE IN THEATRES
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was produced by Richie/Wigram Productions and Davis Entertainment. The film is distributed by Warner Bros.