The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Run time : 116:00

CBFC Rating : U/A

Based on the television show of the same name – The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is an action adventure/comedy set in the early 1960s. CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to team up with agent Gabby Teller (Alicia Vikander) against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

The first thing that jumps out at you when the movie begins is how charismatic Napoleon Solo is, he is confident, arrogant, and smooth. This is a role where Henry Cavill shines as he commanded all the attention in every scene he was in. At times he was a bit over the top with his performance (as were other cast members), but all in all he was excellent. The same could about Armie Hammer, who did a good job playing the rough but lovable Russian, though his accent was – for the most part decent, but a little forced at times. Alicia Vikander was good in the role she was given, considering she didn’t really have any action sequences or standalone scenes she faired quite nicely.

The main antagonist of the film Victoria Vinciguerra (played by Elizabeth Debicki) is while not physically imposing, still a decent threat for our rag-tag team. This movie plays down the villains because Solo and Kuryakin are somewhat foils to each other (more on this in a moment). This is disappointing because I thought Vinciguerra, given enough screen time and character development could have been an excellent antagonist.

Hammer and Cavill have great chemistry with each other. The banter between these two makes for some truly hilarious moments. One scene in particular had the entire theater laughing! The downside is that because they worked so well together the villain did not receive the time it needed to be considered a major threat.

As far as action goes, this movie doesn’t quite have the incredible stunts of other movies in this genre (It especially pales in comparison to Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation.) In fact, I can only recall one action sequence! Sure it has its fist fights and gun fights, but doesn’t have the fast paced action we’re accustomed to – whether they just wanted to differentiate themselves from recent spy movies or they simply couldn’t fit it into the script is unknown. Though when they do happen, they are decent.

The film is as stylistic as it is creative. A far fetched plot that always knows exactly what it is. My only complaints are some shaky cam and not enough Hugh Grant. It should also be noted that this is a comedy and should be seen as such. If you think this is the next Bond or Mission Impossible you’re in for a major disappointment. Some of the jokes didn’t always land and at times characters can be caricatures of Bond/MI characters. Overall I liked The Man From U.N.C.L.E., it was funny and had some fun characters. Is it a perfect film? Absolutely not. But it has its moments of wit, character, and style. it certainly has things to build on in the inevitable sequel.

My Rating : 3/5 STARS

– Ashok Reddy

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