The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is Guy Ritchie's return to form -- a cool and crafty Bond film without a 007 agent. Henry Cavill radiates charm and wit, while Armie Hammer's stiff Russian accent proves more than fitting in a film that's fast-talking and full of style.
Guy Ritchie‘s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a refreshing return to form for the filmmaker that has spent far too long on Sherlock Holmes films and less on fun and energetic ensemble films like U.N.C.L.E., which features Superman (Henry Cavill) actually smiling and emoting and the under-used Armie Hammer in one of his most fun roles yet.
It’s the 1960s and the world is on the brink of nuclear war. CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is forced to team up with KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) in hopes of stopping a much greater threat. But the two despise each other, which makes The Man from U.N.C.L.E. an enjoyable return for director Guy Ritchie as he creates an entertaining period piece that melts together the spy genre with his usual eye for comedy and energetic editing.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is the most fun that I’ve had with a Guy Ritchie joint since RocknRolla, which feels like ages ago.
It’s not that Guy Ritchie completely wasted his talents with the Sherlock Holmes films, but he definitely went by under-utilized and essentially turned into a gun-for-hire by the time the second film was released.
Now, Ritchie is back in his usual environment, only this time tackling a period piece set in the dead heat of the 60s, with the Americans and the Russians scrambling for power, while also trying to prevent the world from another World War.
U.N.C.L.E. wouldn’t be nearly as memorable had it not been for Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. Both men have unfortunately been picking the wrong (or safe) projects as of late, with Cavill all but locked down with Superman commitments and Armie struggling to find his own franchise to manhandle after The Lone Ranger bombed.
And it’s a real shame too, because Ritchie proves that both men can not only be hilariously entertaining, but also well-rounded performers that have so much to offer.
Cavill’s Solo is smug, suave and always smiling and it works so damn perfectly for the man. Solo is your typical arrogant agent who thinks of himself rather highly and watching Cavill play that with such confidence is an absolute blast.
I’m not saying that he’s not also the perfect Superman, but I am saying that the man is full of so much talent and it sucks not being able to see him show that side as often as we see him stare down Batman in the dark rain.
Armie Hammer on the other hand is equally hilarious, yet coming from an entirely different character. Kuryakin is supposed to be this big brute Russian with a thick accent and not much with words, yet Hammer’s pick-and-choose delivery makes for a character that’s both physically dangerous and all-around entertaining.
Some might think that he’s overplaying the accent, but it really helps offset Cavill’s straight-forward approach.
The only real problem that U.N.C.L.E. faces is an ending that doesn’t stick its footing, but it works enough to keep the film in the positive.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. may be one of Ritchie’s lighter films, but it’s a refreshing one after watching him do very little with his career as of late. U.N.C.L.E. is a film that will appeal to those looking for a James Bond-like film that’s not so serious and instead more focused on being a fun romp, with cool gadgets and even better characters.