The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Review
There is certainly no shortage of spy movies out there, especially this year. Kingsman, Paul Feig’s Spy, and Rogue Nation have already came and conquered, and we haven’t even seen Bond yet.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. does have the pleasure of being different than all those other spy movies. While Kingsman is an over-the-top ode to the 60’s spy era, U.N.C.L.E. is an over-the-top ode to the 60’s spy era that actually takes place in the 60’s. And while director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) had a blast making that time period sparkle, Ritchie and Lionel Wigram’s script had too much fun with its characters to realize its story is bland.
With a nuke being created without any government permission, the CIA and the KGB send their two best men to work together to put a stop to this madness.
Like I said, pretty bland story. But the plot was clearly not Ritchie and Wigram’s top priority. This movie is all about the characters, and making them as cool as they can possibly be. Every chance for a smart ass remark is seized and the characters are just beaming with swagger.
And even though Henry Cavill as the CIA agent and Armie Hammer as the KGB agent absolutely nail the roles, as well as Alicia Vikander in her supporting role, it does get a little played out by the end.
Guy Ritchie’s stylized visuals certainly make up a bit of that. This is one of the slickest and sexiest movies of the year. Every shot in this movie pops and the action was a blast (and there is a healthy amount of it).
Ritchie’s use of music here should also be commended. Ritchie is one of the few directors out there to use music to give scenes personality. A particular scene on the water about halfway through the movie is great to begin with, but the song he plays just elevates that scene to a higher level of enjoyment. With Daniel Pemberton delivering a quality score on top of that, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of the best examples of music in film this year.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.‘s schtick gets tiring before the credits roll, and in 2015’s sea of quality spy films, Man from U.N.C.L.E. is the weakest link. But with fun action and Ritchie having a blast behind the camera, certain scenes from Man from U.N.C.L.E. excel. It’s just a shame the plot took backseat to the larger than life characters.