Movie Review – The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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The film opens with CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) being sent to East Germany to rescue motor mechanic Gaby (Vikander). The CIA hope Gaby can lead them to her estranged father, a missing German scientist who they believe is helping an international crime syndicate build nuclear bombs. The pair are chased down by KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) and there is a clever car chase, some snappy dialogue, lots of guns fired and the eventual escape over the Berlin Wall for Solo and Gaby.

Not long after, Solo and Kuryakin are informed they will be teaming up to hunt down the evil crime syndicate together. And so the fun begins …

UNCLE is stylish and glossy and perfect from beginning to end. It is a very modern take on a very retro concept and the bad guys are sinister and carefree while the good guys are square-jawed and oh so serious.

The story is a convoluted and fun as any spy story ever is. But there are no serious Bond-esque gadgets here so improvising is a must. The film bristles with sexual tension that is suggested but never really acted upon. Well Solo does get laid but it’s only a morning after shot of him sitting up smugly in bed as a nubile young thing trots across his bedroom that suggest any shenanigans.

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The camera angles and shots are familiar to anyone who has ever seen a 1960’s spy movie. The camera sweeps over Rome, zeroing in a little unfocused on the bad guys peering through binoculars from a great distance had me chuckling. Not to mention the 45 second montage showcasing what must be every single monument/ tourist spot the city had to offer. It really did capture a time when the vast majority of moviegoers had never been overseas, possibly never would, and this was as close as they would ever get. I loved it!

This movie is about as deliciously retro as you can get and it’s the ladies who show the boys how it’s done. From Vikander’s perky 60’s mini’s and round sunglasses to Debicki’s long, sleek, flowing gowns, they showcase the best of 60’s fashion. The boys with their square-jawed classic good looks and tailored suits are indeed dashing but the girls have this one.

I really enjoyed this movie but fear it will get lost among the high-octane heroes the modern audience seem to demand. It’s a shame because even though it may have been a tad overstylised, it was a funny, clever, solid movie. The leading men played 60’s spies to absolute perfection and Debicki is stunning as the lithely evil Victoria. Vikander, who so impressed me in Ex Machina, was robotic and one-dimensional but I will give her a pass until I’ve seen more of her.

3 stars

Love Flick xx

Director :  Guy Ritchie

Starring : Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debricki, Luca Calvani, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris, Sylvester Groth

Running Time :  116 minutes

Release Date :  13 August 2015

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