The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015): A Higher Class of Hero

Posted: August 23, 2015 in Action, Adventure, Comedy
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man_from_uncle_ver2_xlgIn the midst of the Cold War, American and Russian spy organizations realize that there is a bigger threat out there than the opposing nations. With word of a nuclear scientist having gone missing, CIA spy Solo and KGB agent Illya are forced to put aside their differences for the mission. Taking the niece of the scientist as part of their cover, they head to Rome to meet with her family and discover where the scientist may have ended up. As the two men attempt to work together, they discover a clear set of differences in their skills and abilities, but they also find a similar focus regarding Gaby’s safety and completing the mission.

Sophisticated, Sexy Action: With many modern films using more skin and visual representation of sex to sell their stories, this film has a much classier and classic feel to its more sensual moments. Whether it be the vocal performances of Henry Cavill (Solo) and Armie Hammer (Illya) or the more physical comedy of the entanglement between Illya and an intoxicated Gaby (played by Alicia Vikander), the presentation by Guy Ritchie just simply hits the mark on all accounts. He knew exactly how far he needed to go to capture viewers without overreaching.

Marriage of Opposites: Solo and Illya were cut from somewhat similar cloths, but their approaches remained intriguingly different. For the American Solo, he projected a strong suaveness through his more metered actions and style. While not always perfectly in control, he still never seemed to go down without a high level of grace. For Illya, his combat training and temper made him a more volatile agent but not always as aware of his actions. Forced to be a little more out of his element, the partnership with Solo proved to be a chance to branch out of his more violent methods.

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Spy vs. Spy: Similar to the back and forth of Solo and Illya, the nations were at the center of this conflict and focused on a third party. While working together, there were also expectations from each of their handlers regarding how the mission should end. The opportunity for backstabbing was always present between the two spies, but there were other players in the game. While Victoria’s (played by Elizabeth Debicki) innocence, or lack thereof, was never in question, her level of awareness of the spy mission against her was not always clear. With the way the mission played out, there was always a sense of mystery with how everything would come to conclusion.

Final Verdict: Even with this film being set several decades in the past and being based on a classic TV show, there was something fresh about the story and the presentation. The acting was solid and the entertainment value will keep people interested in the next mission.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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