Film Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

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

Guy Ritchie’s film reboot of 1960s television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is both stylish and entertaining. The film should satisfy those looking for some cinematic escapism.

In the midst of the early 1960s Cold War, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGM operative Illyan Kuryakinare tasked to work together on a mission. The pair must stop a criminal organisation from proliferating nuclear weapons…

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ticks the boxes in terms of a good spy action movie. Guy Ritchie reboots the television show keeping the 1960s setting whilst updating aspects to give the film a modern resonance. The film begins with a set up that functions well to introduce the main characters, as well as the period setting. Moreover, the action which precedes the main plot gives viewers a good taste of what is to come.

There is enough intrigue in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to keep the audience engaged throughout. There is a small lull after the opening gambit to allow for exposition, but pacing picks up following this. Action sequences are executed with vim, and are well placed throughout the film. The use of humour works well; The Man From U.N.C.L.E. may have come across as po-faced without this.

The relationship between the two previously opposing agents is a theme that develops throughout the film. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.‘s third main character is a young female mechanic tasked with helping the agents to infiltrate the organisation. From the outset, it is clear that Alicia Vikander’s Gaby is more than just a pretty face, putting her in contrast to some of the minor female characters filmed in a horribly dated voyeuristic fashion. The relationship between the trio however works very well.

Styling in the film is wonderful, with beautiful depictions of the 1960s. Costumes are fantastic, as is hair and make up. The whole film oozes this era, with the split screen and use of titles leaving viewers in no mistake of when The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is set. The film harks back to this era without being a parody.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is successful thanks to its tone and execution. Whilst it does not reinvent the wheel as an espionage-action thriller, the film is very enjoyable.

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