THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. | REVIEW

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. TV show from the 60s gets a decent remake ala style. Starring two uber hunks we have Superman v the Winklevoss twins 🙂 or otherwise known as versus (and in partnership with) . Originally Tom Cruise was cast as Cavill’s character, Solo, but chose to stick with his latest MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION – lucky for him!! It may also be of interest to you that in the 60s TV show – the guy who played Illya – is none other than “Ducky” from NCIS – this little tidbit blew my mind 🙂 I love Ducky!!! THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. released today, Thur 13th in Australia from Roadshow Films, it is rated M and runs for 116mins.

 

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. | SALTY POPCORN | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. is the new heavyweight spy in a suit (Henry Cavill), Armie Hammer (Texas Ranger) and the getting-on-a-bit . Adapted from the 1960’s television series to the big screen by Guy Ritchie it has his touch all over it; the charismatic characters, the stylised shots and the cool.

It’s a movie that’s smooth, stylish and all about the visuals but with the trademark dialogue that only Ritchie brings. LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS in Italy, wearing suits.

Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya (Armie Hammer) star as the agents from CIA and KGB. America Vs Russia. West Vs East. Freedom Vs Communism. A mismatched duo if there ever was one, they could never be in the same room let alone work together…

 

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SOLO (HENRY CAVILL)

 

The two then of course have to work together to bring down a villainous arms dealer who seeks to start the next World War. What transpires next is a salute to the old-school spy films with champagne-in-hand espionage, classic cars, villain island lairs and of course the casual seduction. A Guy Ritchie James Bond if you will (Ed’s note – now that is something I would LOVE TO SEE!!!).

When it comes to the characters through this journey it is a bit of a hit and miss. Henry Cavill hits it off running and is a stalwart throughout the film. A picture of cool, calm and composure (and chiseled marble). He certainly makes strong his potential to become the future James Bond. Armie Hammer, on the other hand, doesn’t quite match his partner’s brilliance as he struggles to outshine the one who Guy gave all the cool, sometimes you just feel sorry for him. It’s a pairing of the jock with a steroid taking nerd.

The surrounding cast follows a similar pattern with rising star (EX MACHINA) failing to make a presence as the daughter of nuclear scientist, and driver of the story, Gaby. A little too much damsel and a little too much heroine at the same time, looks like she just couldn’t make up her mind. Hugh Grant has only a brief cameo in the film with little contribution but it is really (THE GREAT GATSBY) who made the fine impression as villainous daughter, Victoria Vinciguerra.

 

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SOLO (HENRY CAVILL) AND ILLYA (ARMIE HAMMER) ON A VESPA

 

Channeling her inner Cruella Deville, Elizabeth, is a glittering serpent of sustained venom but with the vertebrae. Holding her own against a cast of mountain men, Victoria gives as good as she gets and is a worthy protagonist.

While these actors are all strong within their own right and their skills clearly show, the trademark Guy Ritchie dialogue helps them along the way. While his films are always stylish in their visuals the words always have a sense of realism about them, a feel of being unscripted while yet scripted. Villains forget to plug in electric chairs, heroes admit their mistakes and people are interrupted by annoying hotel room cleaners.

It is this dialogue which has made the Guy Ritchie films of the past in their gritty, England-bound, backgrounds what they were. Now, with a bit more budget, Guy has shown a passion and skill for stylised luxury.

 

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SOLO (HENRY CAVILL) AND ILLYA (ARMIE HAMMER)

 

Set mainly in Italy, the backdrop is classic Italian villas, clear ocean waters and stunning hotel rooms. The men wear three piece suits and drive classic cars while the women get their clothing from Audrey Hepburn and have flawless complexion. The shots are sharp, clear and everything on screen has a purpose.

In the end this is what the film is about a little too much. It’s great to look at but as soon as you start thinking about it it loses its lustre, however don’t let this deter you, the style is worth the watch. Suited up Hollywood A-listers, villainous lairs, Berlin street car chases, world domination schemes, what have you got to lose?

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

Kernel Alistair has been and will be a lover of movies from when Marlon Brando first amazed as Stanley Kowalski to the day that we see the 100th Marvel film. They can amaze, excite, incite and ignite the viewer and here’s hoping he can help you find which ones.