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

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kevinknapman
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The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#1 Post by kevinknapman » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:29 pm

Another entry into a fairly crowded summer blockbuster season is Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Arriving surprisingly late considering the trend for turning any half-remembered 60s TV show into a movie seemed to peak in the late 90s, it is, nonetheless, a fairly entertaining big screen cold war spy caper that moves along nimbly enough even if it ultimately lacks the solid action thrills that might have made it even more memorable.

It starts well enough in that regard with a car chase between Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin near Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie. Beyond that, the action when it happens is pretty brief but servicable.
Oddly, the closest it gets to a memorable set piece beyond that is when it deliberately moves away from the action and focuses on Henry Cavill's Solo sitting in a truck, listening to a pop tune and eating a sandwich while Armie Hammer's Kuryakin is involved in an out of focus deadly boat chase in the background. It's the one witty and inventive scene that the film could have used more of. The finale in comparison feels a little rushed and anti-climactic.

Likewise, the script and story are also functional if hardly memorable. A standard 'good guys stopping villains from acquiring nuclear weapons' plot that we've seen many times before.

What is gets right however, is the 60s setting (the filmmakers deserve credit for resisting the temptation to bring it up-to-date). All the appropriate fashions, cars and pop tunes put to excellent use to give the film the required amount of style. Admittedly it could of used a bit more substance to go with it but it's a visually and aurally pleasing film for the most part.

The acting is solid enough. Neither Cavill and Hammer ever seem likely to set the screen alight but they're both likeable enough. They work better together though, with Ritchie and both actors making the most of their chalk and cheese relationship. Alicia Vikander continues to prove herself as an actress of considerable charm and talent as the daughter of a missing German scientist, bringing a lighter comic touch to what could have been a thankless role, while Elizabeth Debicki displays a decent amount of screen presence as the lead villain. Jared Harris and Hugh Grant are also good as senior agency heads. Oh and, according to the end credits, David Beckham has a cameo (not that I noticed). Make of that what you will.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is an entertaining and perfectly watchable spy thriller. If it really wants to compete with other spy franchises like Bond and Mission Impossible however it should beef up the action a little more. As it stands though it's a solid and promising enough set up for the worlds of U.N.C.L.E and T.H.R.U.S.H (the former is only mentioned in the last scene, the latter not at all), should this prove to be successful enough.
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#2 Post by Beate » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:59 pm

I thought this was total rubbish. The story made no sense, the music was terrible and ear-bashing, it has needlessly "arty" scenes in it like that weird underwater business to Italian songs and as for the German spoken - oh my God. Apart from Uncle Rudi and the father, who were played by genuinely German actors, I couldn't understand a word of what anyone else said. I had to laugh when Alicia Vikander told Henry Cavill his accent was not bad for an American. No, love, it was atrocious. I'd have been lost without the subtitles, especially in the scene where there was some inaudible dialogue behind windows but the subtitles still knew what they said! There was some attempt at humour which worked for my fellow audience but not for me. They also thought we were all stupid by showing some scenes twice just so we could "get it." ("Oh that's how he got the invitation!" Seriously?) The first time I thought the film was broken. I was desperate to get out of the cinema after an hour.

4/10
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#3 Post by stuartboy » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:39 pm

I really enjoyed this and thought that the style of the film worked well. The 60s feel was very well done indeed and I was pleasantly surprised that they had not gone down the updated route similar to Miami Vice and Starsky and Hutch. The period feel was very well portrayed and seemed authentic and convincing. I did have to wonder when they started talking about computer discs though. Was it not all on reels of magnetic tape back then?

I thought the acting was ideal if a little wooden, but that only helped to add to the 60s feel. The original will also appear a bit wooden too.

I liked the flashbacks and reveals, as well as the split screens.
The initial car chase/sequence was very well choreographed.

I'm going to plump for an 8/10. Purely for entertainment rather than artistic merit.
Definitely would like to see again

Worth noting is that no prior knowledge of the TV show is needed.
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#4 Post by newdot » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:50 pm

Take this Mission Impossible franchise then remove all the action, humour and characters ...voila! man from uncle.

At it's very best, comes across as a piss poor Peroni advert.

ditch-water dull. final coffin nail in the directors coffin. I confidently predict that guy ritchie's & danny dyer's careers will be overlapping very soon.

final proof, if proof was needed, that Matthew Vaughn was the talented one in this marriage all along.

shit / 10

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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#5 Post by chelle1973 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:17 am

I thought this was really good! The cast worked well together and it was quite funny! 8/10 o/
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#6 Post by raj101 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:16 pm

fair but tipped a little towards style in favour of substance. 2/3
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#7 Post by prettyxcool » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:54 pm

Just saw this tonight with the Sweet Sunday codes at 02 Greenwich. When I exchanged the codes for tickets, was only given the front two rows in Screen 8 as available to choose, so we chose the middle seats of the second row, which I must say is really comfy, and there is actually quite a gap between the front row and the screen so you are not right in front of the screen. I would happily sit there again.

Loved this, mainly because the interaction and banter between the three main characters was a delight to watch. They all played their parts pretty well, even Hugh Grant in his small role, and Elizabeth Debicki, as the female villain was also pretty good. Just felt the accents were all over the place though.

However, it's got tongue in cheek humour, action and a bit of romance, so for me, a solid entertaining spy thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I could watch again. 8/10

It was bugging me for quite a while where I have seen Alicia Vikander before, and finally remembered it was a Testament of Youth and a Royal Affair. Also Armie Hammer, finally remembered he was the Prince in Mirror, Mirror. I think I prefer him over Henry Cavill, who plays the slick, cool spy who oozes charm, confidence and so elegant, whereas my friend is going for Henry. ;)
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#8 Post by McG » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:06 am

I saw this on the free preview evening last week and have to say it was ok but nothing great. I was surprised to find that we were back to the start of the "UNCLE" story and had expected the film to be set in the present and not back in the 60s. I think I would have been disappointed if I'd pa*d to see the film as it certainly lacked something.
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#9 Post by prettyxcool » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:14 am

aah, it seems it is a marmite film, judging from all the other reviews here too ;) I, on the other hand, loved that it was based in that era, and here the back story is exciting and not boring and overdrawn like Fantastic Four, and am looking forward to what is to come next. Funnily, the more I think of all the little scenes with the tongue in cheek humour, the more I am loving it! And I am still thinking about it the next day :shifty: There were a lot of chuckles in our screening too and everyone left with a satisfied smile on their faces. I would not say it was perfect, but we were entertained. :D
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Re: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

#10 Post by kodreone » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:05 pm

LOOOOOOOOOL

"At it's very best, comes across as a piss poor Peroni advert."

so true.

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