Review: ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

“Man of Steel” lead Henry Cavill doffs his Superman cape in place of well-timed laughs and quick—but never rushed—action sequences in this movie. It’s easy to see how the Brit Cavill was the director’s pick to reprise the role of James Bond in 2006’s “Casino Royale” before the older Daniel Craig landed the coveted 007 role.” – REEL BRIEF.com

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The film industry’s 2015 infatuation with past U.S.-Soviet Union relationships finally kicks off with this offering of nasally Eastern Bloc accents and talk of nuclear weapon shenanigans. Only a lighthearted warm up act to bigger, better Cold War drama coming up this fall, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” delivers a very passable action adventure along to viewers.

Once again director Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”) creates a film that’s entertaining enough for audiences to take notice of the former Mr. Madonna’s skill behind the camera. Ritchie successfully reboots NBC’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E” television series from the 1960s into an action-comedy of mayhem and distrust.

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At the center of this foreign intelligence caper are the two counter espionage spies belonging to each superpower. “Man of Steel” lead Henry Cavill doffs his Superman cape in place of well-timed laughs and quick—but never rushed—action sequences in this movie. It’s easy to see how the Brit Cavill was the director’s pick to reprise the role of James Bond in 2006’s “Casino Royale” before the older Daniel Craig landed the coveted 007 role.

Cavill’s debonair and fearless appearance smacks of All-American cowboy in comparison to his unimpressed Russian sidekick and co-spy, Illya Kuryakin (overplayed by Armie Hammer). While Hammer, most remembered for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in 2010’s “The Social Network”, makes an effective Russian sleuth teamed with Cavill, the real Cold War prize in this movie is “Ex Machina” (2015) robotic eye candy Alicia Vikander.

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Vikander, as the daughter of a German nuclear scientist gone missing, tees up the one-liners and acts as catnip for both of the International spies. Ritchie’s script and direction bluntly skips over the weighty nuclear weapon plot details and world dangers to focus moviegoers squarely on Vikander’s stunning Gaby Teller beauty part.

Perhaps only slightly more serious in nature than the spy gamesmanship exhibited in the “Kingsman: The Secret Service” played out earlier this year, “U.N.C.L.E.” provides an acceptable opening act to more formidable Cold War matches on the immediate horizon. Next month audiences will see the true story of American chess champion Bobby Fischer and his 1972 rise to the top of the strategic board game in the thriller “Pawn Sacrifice“. In October, U.S.-Soviet relations further implode with the events of 1962 played out in “Bridge of Spies”, starring Academy Award winner Tom Hanks. Until then, the charisma and budding Cold War relationships in this film must suffice.

Grade: B

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is rated PG-13 for action violence, some suggestive content, and partial nudity.  It’s running time is 1 hour and 56 minutes.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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2 Comments

  • […] Cavill’s debonair and fearless appearance smacks of All-American cowboy in comparison to his unimpressed Russian sidekick and co-spy, Illya Kuryakin (overplayed by Armie Hammer). While Hammer, most remembered for his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins in 2010’s “The Social Network”, makes an effective Russian sleuth teamed with Cavill, the real Cold War prize in this movie is “Ex Machina” (2015) robotic eye candy Alicia Vikander.  You can read my entire “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” movie review here. […]

  • […] This year’s hottest female movie star, Alicia Vikander, plays Redmayne’s wife of six years–and gives a screen performance of a lifetime. Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz and, even Charlize Theron, were all once rumored at some point to be pegged for the part of Gerda Wegener opposite Redmayne. Thankfully, this vital role ultimately landed upon the versatile Vikander, culminating a magical 2015 that saw this bright, rising star shine also in “Ex Machina” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” […]

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