The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review: Old-Timey Action Adventure


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is based off the television series of the same name in the 60s.  Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill), is a CIA agent tasked with locating Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), the daughter of Hitler’s former rocket scientist, Udo Teller (Christian Berkel).  This mission came to him when Udo mysteriously disappeared from where he was living in the United States – leading the CIA to believe that someone must have taken him for the valuable skills he has.  By having Gaby in their custody, they believe she will help locate him.  Tasked with the same mission, a KGB agent, Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer),  was to locate Gaby as well but terminate Napoleon if necessary.

After being chased relentlessly by Illya, Napoleon and Gaby eventually escape to safety – happy he would never see the KGB agent again for a while.  Unfortunately for him, USA and Russia had decided to join in a partnership to locate Udo and his plans before it got into the wrong hands.  Along with Gaby, the trio goes undercover to infiltrate and get acquainted with the mysterious Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki); whom they believe have Udo in custody.

“I look suave, don’t I?” Source: Warner Bros.

The plan goes south when Gaby sells them out to the Vinciguerras. Napoleon gets caught and sent to Gaby’s Uncle Rudi (Sylvester Groth) to be tortured and killed while Illya was made to run from their clutches.  Knowing that their cover has been blown, Illya tracks Napoleon to save him before Uncle Rudi does anymore damage.  The duo are then rescued by Alexander Waverly (Hugh Grant), an MI-6 operative who reveals that Gaby was an undercover agent under his employment.  Together, they rescue Gaby from Alexander Vinciguerra (Luca Calvani) and kill Victoria before she could load the warhead onto her buyer’s submarine.

Having retrieved the back-up disc with Udo’s research on it, Napoleon knew Illya was bound to confront him about it and possibly kill him.  To prevent either of them from killing each other, the two decide to destroy the disc so that both countries won’t be able to have the upper hand.  While enjoying their evening drink, they are joined by Gaby and Alexander who tells them that they’ve been re-assigned to a new international organization under his command.  He then deploys them on a new mission to Istanbul under their new codename: U.N.C.L.E.

“Can’t believe I have to deal with these 2 egotistic blokes.” Source: Warner Bros.

First and for most, let’s get this out of the way.  ‘U.N.C.L.E.’ stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.  I got this imprinted in my brain ever since I saw the acronym and I have to share this little information.

I’d have to say… I was initially a little hesitant about this movie despite the fact that I do love the retro looking stuff and have a little crush on Henry Cavill.  My parents were excited for this because they’ve seen the television show when they were really young and were quite acquainted with the characters.  I however, just wasn’t sure how a 60s TV show was able to translate onto a big screen.  I mean Hawaii Five-O is a great reboot but that’s on television.  So to put it plainly, I had some expectations.

But boy did this film exceed my expectations.  There was action, comedy and a tinge of romance that kept me thoroughly entertained throughout it’s running time.  The comedic dialogue was delivered on point and sometimes, they didn’t even need to be said.  The musical interlude during Napoleon’s sandwich scene was comedic enough to bring laughter.  The clever use of musical score led the movie to retain its 60s television vibe on the big screen.

“Well, I think he’s quite dead now.” Source: Warner Bros.

Guy Ritchie is one of my favorite directors and needless to say he doesn’t disappoint.  I liked the 60s sequence of his directing for this film which really gave it that authentic feel – kind of paying homage to the television series.  The cast doesn’t disappoint either with the great chemistry between them that delivered quite a performance.  Armie’s straight-face comedic dialogue was delivered on point as well.  My favorite scene was the part where he was about to give one of Vinciguerras’ guards KGB’s infamous ‘The Kiss’.  Kudos to that guard being able to stand up so straight with his eyes closed!  Major props to all the actors for being able to deliver their dialogue like they were really from the 1960s.  Especially Elizabeth and Henry.  They sound just like how I imagined the villain and CIA agent of that time would sound!

My only pet peeves which probably aren’t that big of a deal was Armie and Alicia’s accents.  At times, it seemed a little inconsistent and you could hear Armie’s American accented ending to a sentence or Alicia suddenly sounding a little British.  They are minor stuff but for me, I kinda catch on to it if I hear it once or twice.  The other pet peeve was the tightness of Henry’s pants.  Yes, I know – I should have my eyes elsewhere but seriously!  Henry’s pants are tight!  How does he run around with tight dress pants on!?  It does not make sense to me and I was rather distracted by it.  Unless it’s made of some sort of elastic material, I’m pretty sure the pants will tear at some point.

All in all, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is a must-watch in my opinion.  I’ve never enjoyed an action movie this much before! I’m kinda hoping to see a sequel if possible.. So, Guy, I’ll be seeing part two on the screen soon, right?




One thought on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review: Old-Timey Action Adventure

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  1. I’ll watch Henry Cavill in tight pants in ANY production; any time. Come now, your complaint is akin to someone complaining they were served Beluga Caviar instead of baloney.

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