The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: Film Review – Style meets substance in Guy Ritchie’s latest venture

Let’s agree that 2015 has to be the Year of the Spy Film. From Kingsman: The Secret Service to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, we’ve been treated to some remarkable films in the genre this year. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is the latest, most noteworthy addition to the list.

The film follows two spies in the Cold War era. CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) first cross paths when they’re both sent on a mission to retrieve Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander), the daughter of a Nazi scientist. The trio must go undercover to find Dr. Udo Teller (Christian Berkel) whose skills being misused is a threat that looms large over the world. This is easier said than done; try ego clashes, politics and shifting loyalties.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a delightful throwback to the good ol’ days – when agents dressed in sharp suits could kill with both their guns and their words; when great action was accompanied by cheesy dialogues and witty zingers that made you grin; when a spy film meant equal parts style and substance.

The film is a breath of fresh air, compared to other such movies released in the recent past. While we love spy films featuring high-octane action, it’s certainly nice to see an intelligent movie in the genre; one that doesn’t rely on visual effects and over-the-top action to stand out.

A great cast is also largely responsible for the movie’s success. Just like their characters, Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill bring out the best in each other. From the witty banter to the heartfelt moments, they make it all work. Alicia Vikander‘s portrayal of Gaby Teller is delightful. She perfectly captures the sensuality, the badassery and the innocence of her character making you root for her, even when you’re not sure if you should!

Elizabeth Debicki is noteworthy as Victoria Vinciguerra, the bad girl who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Luca Calvani, who plays her husband, also manages to make a lasting impression in the little screen time he has. Our only complaint with the casting? There isn’t nearly enough Hugh Grant in the film!

However, the real star of the film is Guy Ritchie. Whether a fan of the filmmaker or not, you cannot contest the fact that the man knows how to make an aesthetically pleasing film. And he has done it again.

Every frame in the film is…. well, frame-worthy. The cinematography, costumes, make-up and soundtrack are stunning, and takes you back in time. Right from the opening credits, the elements work in tandem to set the atmosphere and contribute to the authentic look of the movie.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an intelligent, well-crafted film. However, it is by no means the fast-paced, action-packed spy film that modern viewers might expect. But don’t let that keep you from watching it. Sure, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn’t summer spy blockbuster material. However, it is the perfect blend of style and substance, which is hard to come across these days.

Why should you watch this film?
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a sleek and stylish homage to the ’60s TV show of the same name. It features strong performances, stunning cinematography and sharp dialogues that will keep you entertained.

 

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