Running time: 116 minutes
Director: Guy Ritchie
Based on the 1960s TV show of the same name, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., is a reboot/origin story that shows how a CIA agent and a KGB operative have to team up for the first time in the middle of the Cold War to stop a criminal organization from creating and selling nuclear weapons. So, two very different agents, that don’t get along have to learn to work together to save the world. The plot has a very been there, done that feel, but this movie is not as much about the plot as it is about the style and the brilliant chemistry between the two leads.
In 1963, West Berlin, ex-criminal, now CIA agent, Napoleon Solo is sent to help Gaby Teller, the daughter of a mechanic who is working for a Nazi organization, to cross the Berlin Wall. In this role, Henry Cavill proves that he is much more than just Superman. This is the most charismatic he has ever been. Solo’s suave, sophisticated and confident personality also prove that he could have made a wonderful Bond. And let’s be honest, no one rocks the 60s suits like he does.
However, he is not the only one interested in Gaby. When they are trying to cross the Wall, they realize that Illya Kuryakin, a russian spy, has been following them and is trying to stop them. Armie Hammer, with a pretty good russian accent by the way, stars again in an adaptation of a classic TV show. It didn’t work very well last time with The Lone Ranger but luckily this time, instead of Johnny Depp, he counts with Cavill as his partner and, as I said at the beginning, their amazing chemistry is what really drives this movie.
In the role of Gaby, and after her spectacular portrayal of Ava in Ex-Machina, is Alicia Vikander, who fits perfectly in the group. She brings out different shades of their personalities and serves as the glue that keeps them together without the need of forcing a love triangle to make it work, as it usually happens.
So the three of them team up and, under-cover, fly to Rome to investigate the leader of this organization, Victoria Vinciguerra. Played by Elizabeth Debicki, Victoria’s motivations are never really clear. It just seems like her whole reason to build a nuclear weapon is simply that she can. Maybe that is all the motivation she needs but I would have liked to see a bit more development there, as well as more from Hugh Grant’s character who was barely in it but added such a nice gravitas to the film every time he was on-screen.
In this day and age where action movies tend to have a convoluted plot, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a refreshing simplistic, yet charming portrayal of the old buddy cop formula that exudes style. I am not going to lie, it is not a perfect movie. It can be too campy at times but it is so much fun to watch. It is silly, witty and it doesn’t take itself too seriously but Guy Ritchie’s slick style fits perfectly with the story and the era of the 60s. This year that we have already had Kingsman: The Secret Service, Spy, Mission: Impossible and Spectre is coming up soon, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will most likely be swallowed up by the genre but it is still a worth watching movie that I just loved and now that the origin story is out of the way, could have a lot of potential for a sequel.