Combining the sophistication and glamour seen in a James Bond film with the comedic tones seen in Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is a fun and entertaining summer film.
Based on the popular 1960s television show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E (Guy Ritchie) is described as an action, comedy, spy film. For someone completely new to the franchise, having never watched any of the original series, it was a thoroughly enjoyable, fun film to watch. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film stars Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), Arnie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina).
The film opens in post-war East Berlin with one of the best car chase sequences I’ve seen in a long time. From there, the film is a raucous, hilarious blend of action sequences, comedic moments and just enough drama to keep the viewer engaged throughout the film. It follows unlikely partners CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) as they work together against a criminal organization who have recruited the father and uncle of the feisty Gaby (Vikander) in their efforts to build nuclear weapons. The actors work together in a way that is charming and yet portrays the awkward, slightly uncomfortable overtones which would be present in the given situation. The other actors are also convincing, particularly Eilzabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) who perfectly portrays the head of the criminal organization and the ever charming Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) as British Secret Service agent Waverly.
Anyone who knows Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films will recognise the clever mix of comedy and drama, as well as the use of some misdirection. Whilst there is more emphasis on the comedy aspects of The Man From U.N.C.L.E rather than the drama, the film is still excellent and has a good plot. For me, what makes the film is the soundtrack. It is incredibly fun and lively whilst also adding to the atmosphere of the 1960s spy film. In one of the darkest scenes of the film, Cavill’s CIA agent is captured and interrogated. While this could have turned an otherwise upbeat movie dark very quickly, the addition of an upbeat song and clever editing with other characters at the time means that the scene somehow manages to stay light-hearted.
All in all, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is a really enjoyable, entertaining film that I would watch again in a heartbeat. The tone of the film is very similar to that of Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was very well received, so I would be surprised if the same is not true of this film. Fast paced and dramatic with a fun 1960s flair, Ritchie even throws a few plot twists into the mix to create a film which is very enjoyable and definitely one of my favourite films of the summer.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Henry Cavill, Arnie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant, Eilzabeth Debicki
Genre: Action, comedy, spy
Running Time: 116 minutes