|Cast overview, first billed only:|
Plot- In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Review– Remakes of 60’s TV shows tend to go in one of two ways, they can either be really good and run and run like Mission Impossible or, they go straight into IMDB’s bottom 100 and stay there like The Avengers (No, not those one’s) or The Lone Ranger.
And Man from U.N.C.L.E.? You ask? Well, it sits firmly in the middle. It’s not good, it’s not bad it just sort of… is.
This is director Guy Richies first film since the disappointing Sherlock Holmes sequel back in 2011 and it feels like hes withdrawn to the style of film that took him to the big leagues years ago. In particular Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the characters are introduced in the same way, it has similar shooting style and it even has a footballer in it. (Ten Points if you can spot legend David Beckham)
It’s also one of the coldest films I’ve seen all summer. It’s so busy looking cool and slick and chic that it forgets to have heart, soul or even a plot. There’s no suspense, the characters are SO cool that to every suggest that they might be in danger at any point is ridiculous. Apart from at the end when I think that Christopher Nolan took over for five minutes.
The problem extends to the cast as well. Every single one of them looks beautiful but none of them had anything resembling a personality except for Illya (played by Armie Hammer) who’s sole trick was that he has random psychotic episodes. Everybody else just glides around like a very pretty model and occasionaly says something “cool.”
The plot is very, very simple. An organisation (lead be a very pretty villain that could have been replaced with a stylishly dressed potted plant) has the ability to make nuclear bombs, two mismatched agents ad a girl are sent to stop them. That’s it. There is a twist or two but nothing to write home about.
And the action scenes…. what can I say about them… Well, do you remember how we all felt watching Godzilla a few years ago? Yeah, same deal. Except instead of the scene ending, the film switches to another character having a drink, or chatting to somebody about something chic. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.
There is something in the chemistry between the two main leads and there is some sort of slick charm to this film but at a time when Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is still out? It just doesn’t measure up.
My Score- If Nothing Else