Wednesday, October 28, 2015

'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Comes Short, but Is Delightful Enough to Warrant a Sequel

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is based on the classic 60’s TV series of the same name.  Set during the height of the Cold War, the movie is directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as two rival spies, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin, forced to put aside hostilities and team up to stop a mysterious criminal organization from upsetting the delicate, tense balance of nuclear arms between the US and the Soviet Union.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a beautiful and very entertaining movie.  It has a great sense of humor.  It has several striking sequences and shots.  The sets and costumes are stylish and detailed.  The cast is great – the men are suave, the women are gorgeous.  The characters – particularly the main trio of Solo, Kuryakin, and Gaby Teller (played by Alicia Vikander) – have wonderful chemistry and are extremely likable.  The movie’s weakest point is its clichéd, unexceptional plot – which become more and more apparent while the second half of the story is unfolding – however, the movie benefits from Guy Ritchie’s engaging direction, thus, the narrative progresses in a confident, captivating manner nonetheless.

By itself, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is visually appealing, funny, and enjoyable.  However, it’s released in a year of notable spy movies.  This 2015, aside from it., we also have the awesome Kingsman, the terrific Rogue Nation, the hilarious Spy, and the upcoming Spectre, and it doesn’t pack enough punch to make itself stand out above the others.  It’s pretty likely that, in the end (I’ll only know for sure after I see Spectre in November), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will end up last among the four.

Still, I would love to see Ritchie, Cavill, Hammer, and Vikander make a sequel.  Even with its shortcomings, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. still manages to deliver delightful stuff.   And I want more of it. 

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