The Man From U.N.C.L.E. *SPOILER ALERT* Review
Director: Guy Ritchie.
It’s fresh, slick and vintage, but does that make it a classic? Set in the 60s and for those of you expecting a Holmes/Guy Ritchie movie. It isn’t. It’s very different and bravo to Guy for going for something alternative. I was one of those hoping for the Sherlock treatment and I was pleasantly surprised.
It’s a spy movie, it’s a buddy movie. It’s cheeky and entertaining. Man of Steel Henry Cavill does a good american Solo. oozing cool confidence, suave gentry and the attire to suit. Armie Hammer, the Lone Ranger and a twin from Social Network, does a good bold Russian agent, with that hard, tough soviet demeanour. Think Dolph Lungren’s Drago from Rocky IV, put a cap and slacks on him and you’ll meet Illya. The chemistry between the two is joyful and comical to watch, in a good way. Being both experts in each other’s field, the clash of pride provides good banter. Cavill being the well mannered, smarmy entrepreneur and Hammer being as his real name dictates, hot headed and short tempered who hits hard. If Solo (Cavill) was a drink he would be a finely poured G&T with all the garnish and Illya (Hammer) would be a neat over proof vodka, without the label.
If any of you have seen Ex-Machina you might recognise Alicia Vikander but not from her acting. She’s the adorable girl next door who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and what is similar to her role as a robot is that alluring, innocent prettiness. Elizabeth Debicki does a stunning femme fatale, classy, but not overbearing enough.
It seems a basic plot that isn’t too clever and and lacks the cunning one might expect from the modern spy genre. But this isn’t modern, it’s kept in the 60s unlike the other TV spy series M:I. There’s hints of Sherlock when plot holes are revealed but done differently, with Cavill doing the narrative instead of Downey Jr.
There’s parts during the film that reminded of Steven Soderbergh Ocean’s 11 series. Almost comic book fashion, the split screening in particular, and then I find out Mr. Soderbergh was due to direct before Mr. Ritchie took his place at the helm. It’s noticeable but not over done and adds a nice flare to the film. However what is lacking, is the action. No impressive scenes, and where there is action, it’s almost clumsy. We know Mr. Ritchie can do fight scenes and do them well but none here. I was hoping for something like Kingsmen.
Another flaw is that it’s filmed solely in digital, Mr. Ritchie’s first, and it shows. I’m not a fan of the digital medium, currently because it doesn’t capture fast action good enough, and doesn’t portray darkness well. There’s no trademark Slow-Mo either, which have been so good in his previous films.
Overall it’s a good film and would look forward to the next in the series, hopefully better action and fisticuffs. Just think it was more Aunty than Uncle.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 7
The Extra Bonus Point: 4 for the split screen scenes but the lack of decent action.