Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Man from UNCLE

Plot: In 1963, American spy Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Soviet spy Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) need to find a nuclear scientist to preventing him from selling bomb-making secrets. They track down his daughter Gaby (Alicia Vikander) in Berlin and go together to Italy. All the while Illya and Solo are in a constant rivalry.  They crash a ritzy party, break into a secret lab, and almost drown in a harbor. In they end, their governments decide they need to work together to make a sequel.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Man from Uncle is a light spy film -- great for summer movies and drive-ins. It is a little bit jokey, a little bit campy. The violence is bloodless and the story doesn't require much attention. It works; Man from Uncle is fun to watch in that popcorn movie kind of way. 

An example of the tone is when Illya was driving a boat in the harbor and being chased by bad guys in another boat. Solo casually steals and eats someone's lunch while the chase scene goes in and out of view in the window over his shoulder. 

Director Richie spends time developing the characters. Illya is a little crazy, and can go out-of-control. Solo is into clothes and art theft. 

Don't look for any messages or moralizing. Solo is a thief on the side, and they run up a high body count. They don't kill each other, so friendship rules to that extent. 

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander with Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Debicki

Directed by: Guy Ritchie who also shares writing credit

The Music: Loved the music by Daniel Pemberton. Very evocative. Almost all the tracks are good. I also liked a few of the period songs. 

The Visuals: I loved the beautiful pictures of Italy. The spy action was not as showy as a Bond movie and as mentioned, sometimes a little comic. Being set in 1963 there is some Mad Man like attention to period gadgets and fashion.

Rating: 2.5 stars: because it is fun to watch. Not higher because it is forgettable. 

More: I remember the original series. I regularly watched the re-runs. 

Even More.The original concept for the Man from Uncle was developed by Ian Fleming the author of