The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

I've never seen the original TV series that this movie was based on, and I genuinely knew nothing about it, so I didn't know what to expect with this movie. As a result, I probably won't do this movie review justice as I just don't know enough to pick out all of the callbacks to the show that I'm absolutely positive this movie is riddled with.

This is a Guy Ritchie film, and I have generally liked his work, but this is in a whole different league - it doesn't have his usual style, but it's fine for him to try different thing, despite how horribly it has turned out for M. Night Shyamalan. I mean, can everyone screw up their reputation that horribly that quickly?

This movie takes place during the Cold War, and it highlights the tension between Russia, the US, East Germany, West Germany, the UK, and (as is required for these kinds of stories) evil madmen who want to make money and don't care who gets killed in the process. So, there is a big bunch of conflict to choose from, and Guy kind of hits on most of them.

Whose idea was it to have Henry Cavill, The Man of Steel, as the lead character? He plays an American CIA agent who used to be a brilliant criminal until he was caught. How brilliant could he have been if he got caught? Well, that's the corner that you paint yourself into with these kinds of characters, so we have to move on. Henry seems like he's doing an impression of someone playing the character during the entire movie. Eventually, I got used to his strange cadence, but it never really seemed natural for a modern movie.

Armie Hammer plays Henry's Russian counterpart. He's portrayed as a barely-controlled super soldier who reminds me of nothing more than Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV with his determination and supernatural ability to do everything except relate to other people or understand social situations (which Henry's character is a master of). He has so much pent-up anger and so much pressure on him that he is unpredictable, and that's a dynamic that the movie needs.

Alicia Vikander makes up the final third of this team. She's just a mechanic from East Germany who happens to be related to a guy that both governments are looking for and the evil madmen want to exploit to potentially kill millions of people in order to make billions or trillions of dollars. She is probably underused in the movie for her ability to act, but that's the story that brought them to the theater, so that's the story that they are dancing with.

Dialogue was entertaining
Story was very good
Acting was very good
Effects were good
Direction was good

Bottom Line: This was a fun movie that seemed to get little traction with audiences, and I can't really figure out why.

3.25/5

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