The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review
Guy Ritchie just adapted a 1960’s television show that I’ve never seen, but it doesn’t matter because The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of the most entertaining movies you’ll see all summer. Slick, stylish, sexy and fun to the bone, the movie is the best James Bond movie you’ll see that isn’t a James Bond movie.
Set in the 60’s and full of color, espionage and tense U.S.-Soviet relations, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. teams Superman (Henry Cavill) with the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) as two rival spies who are forced to work together to save the world from potential nuclear war. Joining them is the headstrong Gaby (Alicia Vikander, most recently seen in the amazing Ex Machina).
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is laced with witty dialogue, fun action sequences and a deliciously fast-paced story where no one can be trusted and it’s fun to trust no one. After so many television-to-movie adaptations have squandered their potential or parodied the original source material, Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) shows how it should be done by taking everything that made the 60’s so interesting (okay, not everything) and seamlessly injecting it into a very aware production that features the tenants of modern filmmaking (cinematography, humor, action, etc.).
Both Cavill and Hammer are terrific, showing comedic range you probably didn’t know they had (I certainly didn’t). Cavill is especially entertaining and wins the weekend in a spot-on scene where he dines from the sidelines while his partner is chased around a pool in a speedboat. Vikander adds a serious dose of sexiness and smarts to the picture, and there is no indication that she is going anywhere but up in this world.
Beyond the acting, the screenplay, co-written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, is a blast. The dialogue is sharp, fast and funny and the story, though certainly not original, more than adequately supports the film. The movie simply feels confident in its approach.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. may look like a movie from another decade, but it is one of the most entertaining, exciting and funny movies you’ll experience all summer--and perhaps all year. It’s a blast and deserves to be seen on the big screen.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.