Solo is well aware he’s being followed by a Russian spy, with whom he’s about to get very familiar: Illya Kuryakin (Army Hammer). Set in the height of the Cold War, the pair are unlikely partners brought together when America and Russian Federation decide to join forces against a common enemy, a possible Nazi threat led by Elizabeth Debicki’s Victoria Vinciguerra.
First thing on the agenda is to find and recruit Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), the daughter of the suspected nuclear weapon creator. He was willing to play the banjo on set I remember doing one scene where I did about six takes and I would stop and all I would hear is the banjo in the background and I would yell out onto set, “Guy did you think it was ok?’ and I just hear ‘yeah it was great”. I don’t know when will see another film as unique as this.
This is the month for retro espionage at the multiplex, what with Tom Cruise killing it in the new “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”.
Even if this take on 1960s spy TV isn’t your particular shaken martini, you at least won’t cry “uncle” over the music.
The story flows by quickly and it keeps your interest from start to finish. The chemistry between Cavill and Hammer is strong.
It can get a little silly, and also a bit incongruous, when the story turns serious and more lethal in the third act. For years, Warner Bros has been trying to mount a movie version of the iconic show and finally, thanks to the inventive direction of Guy Ritchie, it is on the screen and looking good.
While the original pairing of Robert Vaughn and David McCallum lent swagger and smouldering sex appeal to the politically divided operatives, Ritchie’s men – Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill – radiate impeccably tailored style over substance and sizzle. The American is Solo aka “Cowboy” (Henry Cavill), a thief turned spy by the American government. On the one hand, we have Solo, the suave womanizer and global man of mystery.
It’s the ’60s and the ’60s have a very particular look, so it was fun to be wearing that kind of thing. It was at that point that I found myself having fun with the film. The TV series was so hot that Sally Draper was seen masturbating to it on Mad Men.
If you go online, you’ll read mixed reviews.
Some people don’t like Armie Hammer all that much, and I’ll agree; he’s made a couple of not-so-great films. Love spy thrillers? This one’s competent, in focus and instantly forgettable.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.is in cinemas now. She is dragged along for the ride but soon proves to be more than up to the task of fighting off bad guys while keeping Solo and Illya in check. This is supposed to be the beginning of a franchise, and I hope that a sequel is in the works.
“U.N.C.L.E.” opens with a chase scene, complete with stunts and gunfire but it doesn’t have the spark we associate with Ritchie’s work. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. gives you just the right amount of sexuality and action without being over-the-top. 4 raindrops out of five.