Talk about a whole lot of style!
With its colourful costumes and funky split screens, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. almost feels like a comic book film. But Guy Ritchie’s film is different; it’s set in the 60s, and the sleek set design (from the cars to the clothes) helps bring the iconic decade to life in stunning fashion. It also helps that cinematographer John Mathieson has an eye for snazzy visuals, and Daniel Pemberton’s musical choices are dynamic across the board. The plot might not be entirely unpredictable, but U.N.C.L.E. is a true crowd-pleaser in every sense of the word.
The film’s secret weapon is most assuredly its cast. Honestly, this is the most charming and charismatic cast I’ve seen on the big screen in a LONG time. As CIA and KGB agents forced to work together by their superiors, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer are both outstanding as kickass super-spies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him Hammer before, but he perfectly captures his character’s stoicism and quiet brutality. As for Cavill, he proves that he’s more than capable of playing another role besides the Man of Steel – in fact, I do hope the rumours are true and he ends up being our next James Bond (U.N.C.L.E. could be his audition tape). But who’s the film’s real standout? Our female lead played by Alicia Vikander. She’s strong-willed, sarcastic, and incredibly likeable in the role of a German mechanic at the center of the madness. All in all, the three are a ridiculously amusing trio, and they make the prospect of a team-up sequel quite exciting. Plus the film is peppered with sexual tension, and who doesn’t enjoy that when the chemistry is this good?
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t praise Elizabeth Debick and her first-rate turn as the villainous and duplicitous Victoria Vinciguerra. It’s genuinely refreshing to see a female Big Bad that’s so unapologetic and sinister. I only wish she had more screen-time because she has a magnetic screen presence and she owns every one of her scenes.
If I had any complaints, it would be that the film’s final 20 minutes were a bit messy and unfocused. I simply wanted more from the underwhelming action climax. Thankfully, this didn’t detract from the breezy charm that came before.
A tremendously fun spy romp with stellar performances and engaging action. If you’re looking for an enjoyable time at the movies, look no further.