The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

(2015)

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Title:
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Release Date:
13th August 2015
Runtime:
116 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Guy Ritchie
Writers:
Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Languages:
English, Russian, German, Italian
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Henry Cavill ("Man of Steel") stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer ("The Social Network") as Illya Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie's "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," a fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo's only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe. "The Man from U.N.C.L.E" also stars Alicia Vikander ("Anna Karenina"), Elizabeth Debicki ("The Great Gatsby"), with Jared Harris ("Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows"), and Hugh Grant as Waverly. The screenplay was written by Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, who previously collaborated on re-imagining the classic detective Sherlock Holmes in two hit films. The story is by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, based on the television series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." John Davis ("Chronicle"), Steve Clark-Hall ("RocknRolla," the "Sherlock Holmes" films), Wigram and Ritchie produced the film, with David Dobkin serving as executive producer. Ritchie's behind-the-scenes creative team included two-time Oscar (R)-nominated director of photography John Mathieson ("The Phantom of the Opera," "Gladiator"), production designer Oliver Scholl ("Jumper," "Edge of Tomorrow"), editor James Herbert (the "Sherlock Holmes" films, "Edge of Tomorrow"), and Oscar (R)-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston ("Lincoln"). The music is composed by Daniel Pemberton ("The Counselor").(c) Warner Bros

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 74%
IMDb Rating 7.3

Casts

Armie Hammer as Illya
Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria
Henry Cavill as Solo
Luca Calvani as Alexander

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grnwoman 16th August, 2015

Outstanding!

As a long-time fan of the original series who has watched rights disputes, and cast and director changes over the years, I viewed the pre-release publicity with high hopes and low expectations. But in the end, the film itself was a wonderful surprise! Witty, light-hearted without being a spoof and dramatic without being heavy-handed. The two main characters were updated from what was allowable in 60s television to satisfying and engaging modern versions of their original incarnations, and the attendant allies and villains were all one could want. The film was very much what the series could have been were it being done now, in the era of Game of Thrones and Mad Men. I've been twice and will be going again, as well as buying the DVD. Open Channel D; this film is more than I dared hope for!

Reviewed by glasspersephone 16th August, 2015

Better than expected

When I saw better than expected, I knew it would be good. But it was better than good, it was great. Very witty, sexy movie. Take the humour of Sherlock (with Robert Downey Jr. & Jude law) and stick it in a bond movie- then you have The man from U.N.C.L.E. - I like bond movies, but I LOVED the man from uncle. It doesn't get boring, or drop at any point. If you've read anything negative from critics Don't listen to what critics have to say, they don't like any kind of movie if it's not based on a true story. It's certainly worth the price of admission, you'll be glad you saw it. I'm honestly hoping a second will be made.

Reviewed by socrates99 14th August, 2015

At this rate I'll have to see all of Ritchie's films

Remembering the TV show, just barely, I remember I liked Illya a little better than Napoleon. That hasn't changed in this far better version. This movie is a joy and I either smiled or laughed through the whole thing. There is no way they're not making a sequel. Guy Ritchie's direction is assured and far more clever and entertaining than his current rivals. And his eye for casting, assuming it was his doing, is impeccable. I particularly appreciated Alicia Vikander who was dreamy enough in Ex Machina. Here she does a little dance in one scene that went indelibly into my do not erase memory. Cavill and Hammer make an unexpectedly good team. And though I was a little partial to Hammer's performance, Cavill has a flair for comedy that I haven't known about. Oddly enough, Hugh Grant who appears briefly, is a proved asset but seems a little out of place. All in all though this is a fun movie and not to be missed.

Reviewed by Rinaldi Gulinao 13th August, 2015

The Man from UNCLE is a spy comedy that Hammers out a Cavill-cade of Hugh-gely satisfying laughs

When I first saw the previews for Guy Ritche's latest film, "The Man from UNCLE" – a remake of the series of the same name – I decided to approach it fresh. So I avoided watching any of the adventures of Robert Vaughn's Napoleon Solo and David McCallum's Ilya Kuryakin. I mean, to do otherwise just would not be fair, since my exposure to the original is limited to pop culture references. Why catch up to a show from decades ago only to rip apart the new one? Why give myself false nostalgia? That said, I cannot tell you whether this is a faithful recreation of the original, a tasteful homage, or perhaps a complete bastardization. However, I can say that, as a Guy Ritchie action-comedy, it works. The jabs at fictional representations of espionage are delivered with near perfect timing. Even the languishing takes meant to ridicule the tropes, stereotypes and cliches we have all come to see in every action spy thriller do not feel drawn out. All of Ritchie's trademarks are also there, from the diagetic sound that shifts to almost non-diagetic levels as the on screen action becomes a musical montage – a music video if you will – right down to the ubiquitous tongue in cheek, deadpan humour. While I am sure the more eagle-eyed of viewers could play a game of "spot the anachronism" (that tube frame 4x4 in the previews, for instance), I would actually fault this movie as being too period. They seem to have cherry picked all the things people imagine as from the era. The result is that the clothes are just too chic, the set pieces too on the nose. Then again, I guess that is the point: You are meant to fall in love with the aesthetics of that period as interpreted by Oliver Scholl's production design, and as captured by John Mathieson's cinematography. The fashion, the accessories... even the cars. Especially the cars! How could any depiction of the glamour of the sixties be complete without one Jaguar E Type? Also, watch out for the cameo of a $38 million Ferrari. Even with the attention to detail "Mad Men" put into shattering any preconceived notions of the so-called swinging sixties, as well as CNN's "The Sixties" television documentary series' unflinching look at the social turmoil of those times, somehow I still wish I could have lived back then. Or at least escape into the movie universe they have created. Because in our world where terrorist groups are committing heinous acts of barbarity that would put any of UNCLE's supervillain enemies to shame, where spy thrillers like "Homeland" had to up the ante because reality is scarier than the fictional world they have created, where the James Bond 007 franchise lost its playfulness long ago and just keeps getting grittier and grittier, and where Donald Trump is the most popular US republican presidential aspirant, the Cold War and its Mutually Assured Destruction definitely seem worth pining for. I mean what is the mere threat of a few megatons of thermonuclear annihilation compared to the Donald? The movie is cast satisfyingly well enough, with Armie Hammer's Ilya Kuryakin projecting a cold lethality that may have been a bit much. Luckily, this is a bickering buddy movie, where Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo balances things out with borderline insufferable calm smoothness. For something with a bunch of Brits speaking in American accents, I am a bit surprised they toned down Gaby Teller's accent whenever the character speaks English – I'm sure the Swedish Alicia Vikander could lay an affectation of an East Berliner real thick. In all, "The Man from UNCLE" is an enjoyable comedy and an escapist fare which just happens to be seemingly set in our past. I even rank it as a solid tale of espionage, with the end reminding me of Roger Moore as Bond, yelling to General Gogol, "That's detente comrade. I don't have it. You don't have it."

Reviewed by Chalice_Of_Evil 12th August, 2015

Man of Cool...

Towards the end of the movie, Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo asks, "How's THAT for entertainment?" (when teaching the movie's villain a lesson about monologuing), and my answer regarding this movie would have to echo Waverly's "very good", as this film manages to out-Bond the last two actual Bond films. While it might be the unpopular opinion, I in fact enjoyed Guy Ritchie's two Sherlock Holmes films and so decided to give this a chance, knowing nothing about the original TV series this movie was based on and going in with no preconceived notions. One thing that sets it apart from other recent spy thrillers is it staying set in the 60s time period and not being "modernised". From the opening "spy jazz" music, it sets the tone for what will be a fun ride. Ritchie's unique directing style fits perfectly with this slick/stylish film and he proves once again to have the right touch when it comes to blending humor with serious moments (one example being in the most morbidly amusing torture sequence I've seen since Bond's in Casino Royale). Whilst there are "talky" moments and occasions where the camera lingers on a shot for a solid moment, which those with impatience may grow restless during, there's also action (but not such that it's overkill) mixed with humour, some emotional beats and even the odd sexy moment. It all combines extremely well. Interestingly, as has been noted elsewhere, the main cast aren't using their own accents for their roles, with Brit Henry Cavill playing the American Napoleon Solo, American Armie Hammer playing Russian Illya Kuryakin and Swede Alicia Vikander as German Gaby Teller. Cavill, who I found dull/a bore in Man of Steel (then again, I felt that way about the film as a whole save for Antje Traue's Faora), is far better utilised as the suave/cool Solo here (which now brings the tally of cool movie characters by the name of 'Solo' to TWO - the other being...hmm, let's think...). He oozes charm, confidence, elegance - all those words that make up the definition of 'suave' - and has some great reactions. One scene I particularly liked was him just chilling, with a sandwich and bottle of vino in a truck he commandeered, as his newly assigned partner was attempting to escape some baddies in a boat. Just when you think Solo's almost heartless, he shows he's become quite attached to the Russian with anger management issues and does something nice for him (when they're not exchanging spy bugs or ramming each other through toilet stalls Casino Royale-style). As expected, they spend the majority of the film begrudgingly working alongside each other, bantering/arguing and showing each other up. Illya might be almost superhuman in strength and have the fancy fence-cutting tools, but Solo has the expertise breaking into vaults undetected...almost. Armie Hammer's better served here partnered with Cavill than he was with Depp in The Lone Ranger. The two play well off each other and have a nice fun dynamic. It also must be noted (since everyone's pointed it out regarding Tom Cruise in M:I 5) that while this film has a lot of stunts, both Cavill and Hammer took part in them, with the latter apparently giving his stunt double "hardly a chance to do anything because he's out there doing it all by himself". 2015 seems the year of the Awesome Swedes, as Alicia Vikander joins M:I 5's Rebecca Ferguson in making quite the memorable impression on screen. Apart from some rough-and-tumble with Illya, Vikander's Gaby sadly doesn't get to kick as much butt as the aforementioned Ferguson, but still proves hard to look away from when she's on screen (partly because she's dressed in eye-catching 60s fashion - which, along with the film's score/use of songs, goes a long way to creating the right 'mood' for the film - but also because she's awesome in other ways). Her character, a mechanic at the start of the film, soon finds herself in the thick of the action during a great chase scene featuring her at the wheel, with Solo in the back seat and the then unknown to them Illya in hot pursuit (a fantastic sequence, with the directing, music, acting all flowing together seamlessly...and manual window winders used for great comedic effect). Vikander has interesting/fun dynamics with Cavill and Hammer, showing some different sides to her character (one instance being in an amusing dance sequence) whilst also proving smart/helpful and that there's a bit more to her than you might first expect. This trio of characters are a large part of what makes the film as good as it is. Elizabeth Debicki plays the icy cold Victoria to the best of her ability, although there's not that much going on with her that one wouldn't already suspect. Hugh Grant and Jared Harris are both good in their small parts. Playing Gaby's Uncle Rudi, Sylvester Groth is quite memorable in his role. While in his Sherlock Holmes movies Ritchie showed us in slow detail what Sherlock was going to do to his opponents (so we could actually *see* it/make sense of it before everything sped back up and he moved in a blur), it's sort of the opposite here, where we flashback to things we might've missed, little details and such, that are later filled in for us and thus make sense. The use of split screen is also something he seems quite fond of, walking the line between being used effectively and overuse. It proves an extra flourish to an already very stylised film. I enjoyed this origin film of sorts for the team made up of our three main characters - who hopefully we'll get to see more of in a sequel, as this ended up being a pleasantly surprising addition to the spy film genre. For extra background info about the characters, as well as to learn what the acronym U.N.C.L.E. stands for, make sure to watch the stylish end credits.