Below you will find both my and Tom’s separate review of the new movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E. these are our opinions so keep that in mind. Your mileage may vary. We’ll try not to spoil too much of the movie but be warned, spoilers may follow.
Full Disclosure: I have heard of but never seen the original 1960’s television show of the same name so my opinions are based solely on the movie and not how it translates the TV show to the big screen.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E (that’s a chore to type and will subsequently be referred to as TMFU) is without a doubt the most fun movie I’ve seen this summer (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is a close second however). My idea of the perfect movie is one with tons of action, a coherent plot and lots of pithy humor, TMFU is exactly that.
The movie starts with the main character Napoleon Solo crossing in to East Germany after WWII, trying not to spoil anything important I’ll just say we witness an awesome car/foot (foot-car?) chase that is not only brilliantly choreographed but injected with enough light humor to keep you grinning. That grin on your face will last pretty much the whole movie -I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a movie theater where most of the adults laughed uncontrollably.
Everything in TMFU was arranged wonderfully, from the action scenes, to the funny bits, to the music selections, it all flowed perfectly. The movie is set in the 60’s so the clothing, hair styles and music appear to be of the era and boy is it fun a fun time.
The only negative mark I give to TMFU is that towards the end of the movie it slowed down just a bit as things got (just a bit) serious. The slow bits were necessary to advance the story and setup the sequel (not confirmed, I’m just hypothesizing based on the last scene) so they were acceptable. I think I’m right in saying that this was an origin story for U.N.C.L.E., you take a suave thief-turned-spy (might as well be Neal Caffrey from White Collar), a skilled mechanic from East Germany and a hot tempered Russian super-agent, force them to work together and see them become some sort of a team. That camaraderie grows throughout the movie and it actually makes for a very convincing spy movie, whether it’s the relatively unfamiliar actors or simply the top-notch acting that made it easy to accept these characters I’m not sure; but I had very little trouble forgetting that these people on the screen weren’t really spies and villains (the opposite of whenever I see someone like Ben Affleck try and assume a role).
Bottom Line: When I go to see a movie, I want to have fun. I want to spend two hours engulfed in a different world, unaware that I’m sitting in a theater. That happened when I saw The Man From U.N.C.L.E. it probably won’t win an Oscar for best screenplay or directing (it’s way too entertaining for that), but it should win with the audience, it certainly won me over.
I wholeheartedly recommend you go see this movie.
9.5/10 – Nearly Perfect
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a hilarious movie! It was like James Bond meets Mr. Magoo. Henry Cavill (most known for Man of Steel) was the perfect Napoleon Solo. I think that Cavill blended well in the film as the on-screen persona of Archer from FX. Cavill was the handsome, intelligent, pussy slaying fiend that everyone was jealous of. The ladies love him and men wanna be him. He’s like a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream during a screening of The Notebook. The ladies scoop him up with seconds already lined up. Napoleon Solo was kinda doing slave labor for the USA considering that he was due prison time instead of working as an agent. But he was quick on his feet and always ready to act and anticipate like a cheetah in an ostrich farm.
Armie Hammer (most known for playing the Winklevoss’ from The Social Network) played the dumb motherf*cker, Illya, that couldn’t beat Floyd Mayweather in a spelling competition. He was the embodiment of what an employee of Geek Squad is like away from a computer. He’s so utterly clueless to everything that is around him and plays so well off Cavill. Illya was from Soviet Russia during a time period where tension was at its apex between the USA and USSR. I honestly think that he wasn’t really needed to help Napoleon out except to do some heavy duty grocery cart pushing.
Alicia Vikander plays Gaby, his undercover super-agent fiance who Illya couldn’t read a social cue from if Pat Sajak said solve the puzzle with every letter turned over. Vikander (most known from Ex Machina AND *spoiler alert* will be appearing in the upcoming Untitled Matt Damon/Bourne Sequel due out in 2016) was a perfect potato to Hammer’s butter. He melted like a grilled cheese sandwich with her around. There were subtle clues that she left Illya insisting that they were more than just playing a role as fiance’s. However, Illya was unable to put the pieces together until finally at the very end he scored on an open net *wink**no relation at all to Bill Cosby*
Bottom Line: Overall, I’m glad I saw this movie! I go to the movies every weekend and some of them are ugly *cough* (George Clooney’s Tomorrowland). But this one was action packed with humor as well and kept it interesting for most of the movie. The ending was kinda slow. They built it up for this one final mission to get the bomb and when they get it…..its the wrong one! All that steam and no veggies! They had this escape scene and they flipped some switches around and then poof its the wrong one 🙁 Now we gotta go back around again and get the right one. Oh well!
9/10 – Outstanding