Charming but not overly impressive, this summer’s spy film is a passable effort from cinematographers nationwide. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is a spinoff from the 1960’s show that followed a similar plot of espionage and underhand government action, and the movie has a distinct old-fashioned flair.
Set during the Cold War, the story weaves through Russian and American tensions, an underdeveloped third-party villain, and a trio of reluctantly cooperative individuals. The villain is boring and unimpressive, with a sole objective of creating a nuclear bomb by way of a kidnapped chemist. Creating an obvious entry point for our reluctant trio comes in to save the day.
Henry Cavill, who you probably remember from “Man of Steel,” partners up with “The Social Network’s” Armie Hammer to create two of the film’s three protagonists. CIA agent Napolean Solo (Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) immediately grab attention through their patriotic distrust for one another, which begins with a clever—but too-long—opening action sequence.
Beautiful and skeptical, actress Alicia Vikander stars as Gaby Teller, the German daughter of the kidnapped chemist. She completes the trio, and frankly put forth the best acting in the movie. While her accent wavered, she excelled at behaving as the disinclined and underhand fake fiancé of Hammer.
Do not be deceived: this is not your typical spy movie. Think “Kingsman” in terms of style with the majority of the cast being able to pull off the tongue-in-cheek humor. While there is not nearly as much expletives or gore, the jokes were much of the same. The movie bounced between fast-paced action and slow conversation, but the script was entertaining and well-written.
“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is worth the watch, but don’t set your expectations too high. The film is rated PG-13 for some violence and language.